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MP Andrea Leadsom renews HS2 rail attack

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County MP Andrea Leadsom has launched another stinging attack on HS2 after revealing some constituents face being left massively out of pocket by the plans.

South Northamptonshire MP Mrs Leadsom, a long-time opponent of the high-speed rail proposals, has been fighting cases for residents affected by flaws she claims exist in the compensation scheme.

The Government announced a compensation package last year for homeowners affected by the plans, which includes buying homes inside a safeguarded area for their unblighted value.

But Mrs Leadsom said the process has been riddled with flaws, including one constituent she is dealing with who can not get compensation because their home is 5ft outside the safeguarded area.

Coventry South Labour MP Jim Cunningham has since asked all MPs to sign an early day motion calling for more compensation.

Mrs Leadsom said: “I have quite a lot of constituents who have tried to apply and failed, and people who are getting no compensation because they live a few feet outside the safeguarded route. They are trapped in a place where there are no longer any neighbours and will be totally unable to sell their home.

“I am trying to fight like crazy for their proposals for mitigation to be considered, but it is impossible to get people within HS2 to listen to them. The blight extends far beyond the safeguarded route.

“I continue to think this is not a good project. I think it does not offer good value for money, and the business case is getting worse and worse. But me and other MPs are having to recognise that if it goes ahead, the focus has to be on getting the best compensation and mitigation for constituents.”

Mrs Leadsom said she would continue to fight for a property bond – which the Government has rejected – to guarantee a payout if the value of a home drops.

Alison Munro, HS2 Ltd chief executive, said the company is “continuing to engage with communities” to “minimise any adverse effects”.

Andrea Leadsom MP has predicted HS2 would have a negative impact on rail users using the existing services in Northampton.

She said: “My great concern for Northampton is, far from freeing up capacity, this is going to significantly worsen the service.

“The ‘classic’ service is going to be a lot more expensive with a lot more stops.

“If people in Northampton think they will get a better deal, they are sadly mistaken.”

If built, the £33 billion project would link London and Birmingham, cutting through south Northamptonshire between Upper Boddington and Brackley.

A public consultation on the property compensation proposals finishes at the end of this month.

It is just over a year since HS2 was given the go-ahead by the Government

HS2 Ltd chief executive, Alison Munro, has called the period a “momentous year of activity”.

 

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