Threat of HS2 railway line halves house prices in parts of Northamptonshire

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OFFICIALS have warned the threat of a high speed railway line being built through Northamptonshire has destroyed the housing market in parts of the county.

The Government’s proposed HS2 railway line would run from Birmingham to London and pass through Northamptonshire between Upper Boddington and Brackley.

Members of both South Northamptonshire Council and Northamptonshire County Council will discuss the proposals next week, but ahead of their debates, officials from both authorities have warned the threat of the line has already had a serious impact on house prices on the proposed route of the line.

A report by officials from South Northamptonshire Council said: “In some cases, the housing market has completely stagnated and properties which are now valued at as little as around half the pre-blight value still remain unsold.”

The Government is currently investigating how people who live on the route of the line should be compensated.

But the South Northamptonshire Council report warned many people were already suffering, including pensioners who cannot afford to move away from the route.

Discussing the impact on businesses, the report added: “Many of the businesses affected by the proposals are farms or rural enterprises operating at a marginal profit, especially since the recession of 2008.

“There is growing evidence that these businesses are finding it more and more difficult to raise investment or re-finance because of their proximity to the proposed train line.”

The Government estimates that work could start on the line by 2017, with trains running by 2026.

South Northamptonshire Council has claimed the construction of the line will cost every household in the country about £1,500.

Officials from Northamptonshire County Council have also voiced concerns about the plans.

A report which will be discussed at County Hall next week said: “Since the initial publication of a proposed route between London and the West Midlands the value of properties near the route has fallen considerably owing to concerns about the impact the route will have on property values once it is completed.”