The Hamlet in Limbo

This is from Jonathan Loescher.

The unknown fate of Flats Lane and Knox Grave Lane, Weeford, near Lichfield, in Staffordshire.

This small hamlet of 12 houses has just been dropped the bombshell (immediately before Easter) that HS2 are unable to tell them whether the houses in their community will be demolished or not and do not expect to be able to tell them for the foreseeable future.

The community were originally thrown into uncertainty three years ago when HS2 published maps on the Internet showing this small community was in the path of the HS2 high-speed rail route. Since then, despite hundreds of hours spent in meetings, HS2 are still unable to give them any assurances about which houses will be demolished. Before leaving for their extended Easter break, representatives of HS2 sent an e-mail to community representatives stating that they would not know for the foreseeable future whether the community would be demolished. (This is despite HS2 having told the community two months ago that all of the houses would be demolished!)

The community have been through the mental cruelty of HS2 constantly vacillating whether to demolish their houses for three years now and the whole procedure is causing untold stress.

The latest fiasco appears to have been caused by HS2 planning the detail of mitigation, road junctions, embankments implanting before they had even considered what height the line should be. In the last 2 month they have suddenly decided to raise the line by 8 m to save millions of pounds of cost, but throwing all of the local communities into years more stress and uncertainty.

This local debacle illustrates the total disorganisation and mess HS2 Ltd are in. The project is massively over budget, diabolically organised and HS2 is desperately trying to rein in the costs.

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