HS2 – Act now to protect the value of your house

  |  Published: May 7th 2010

At a packed meeting in Wendover Memorial Hall 100's of people heard from Bucks County Council, The Chilterns Conservation Board, and The Chiltern Society about the Government's plans for the High Speed 2 railway that is proposed to carve its way through the Chilterns. This includes a 75 metre wide path across the Wendover Cricket Club pitch and the demolition of some houses in Ellesborough Road. The line is also proposed to run on a 5m high embankment along the side of the Bypass to Nash Lee Road, and a massive 500m long Viaduct over the existing Chiltern line tracks and A413 London Road as the new line heads towards Wendover Dean and Great Missenden.

The impact of this line, and the associated noise from up to 18 trains in each direction every hour, is likely to reduce the market value of your house in Wendover. Realising this, the government has proposed an "Exceptional Hardship Scheme" to compensate home owners who have a pressing need to sell their house and can prove that no offer has been received within 15% of the market price. The Scheme also has several other "Qualification Criteria" proposed which could dramatically reduce the number of people able to get any compensation. The scheme proposed is very similar to the one adopted for the HS1 Line in Kent, and is being rushed through a "Consultation" by the Department of Transport before the 20th of May.

Wendover and Brackley are the two most affected towns along the proposed route of HS2. WenSTAG, the new local Action Group set up by The Wendover Society, the Parish Council, Aylesbury Vale and Buckinghamshire County Councillors to defend Wendover against the threat of HS2, thinks that it is imperative that the voice of Wendover property owners is heard loud and clear by the Government. If we don't resist this Scheme now, they could think that they can get away with this sort of unfair approach. For example if you don't want to sell your house - just get some of the Equity out of it, or if you own commercial property, you are not covered by the proposed Scheme.

WenSTAG needs you to make your feelings known to the Department of Transport consultation, which has three basic questions:

Do you think that a scheme should be set up before the line is set up? Most people might think so, as the impact on house prices is also expected on the other shortlisted (but currently rejected) routes such as the Hughenden Valley.Do you agree with the proposed criteria? If not what alternatives do you propose? Do you agree with how the scheme will work? If not what alternatives do you propose?

These are difficult questions for most people to answer, and that might be part of the Government's strategy to Railroad (pun intended) their scheme into life. WenSTAG has been getting advice from other action groups" up and down the line" about this, and commends to you the advice given on the Website http://hs2action.co.uk/exceptional-hardship . This has been endorsed by both BucksCC and AVDC.

This is the first step in defeating the HS2 proposals that would completely change Wendover for future generations, and WenSTAG is working with the other groups to build a national reasoned response to the complete HS2 line proposal. Over the next few months you will hear more about the project, but in the short term WenSTAG is seeking local support to get things moving. They are especially keen to hear from people with expertise in Railway Noise, but if you would like to volunteer any other support please contact them by email at WendoverHS2@btinternet.com or drop a note into the Parish Council office in the Clock Tower.

If you want to protect the value of your house, read also guidance at http://hs2actionalliance.org and respond before the 20th of May.

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