Demolition looms for homes in path of HS2
Nine homes in a quiet village will be demolished to make way for HS2 – forcing people out of their homes.
The village of Hopton, over a mile away from the MoD Stafford barracks, will see the residential properties in Hopton Lane bulldozed.
The loss of homes will have a 'significant impact' on the community as a whole, according to HS2 – decimating 10 per cent of the village's open market housing.
It will make way for the Hopton North cutting section of the high speed line of the project.
The properties that will make way include Lower Bridge Farm, Long Meadow Cottage, The Mount, one to four of the Mount Farm Barns among others.
Meanwhile, the village will see 77 of its properties on Kings Drive, Lower Lane, Wilmore Hill Lane, Hopton Hall Lane and Hopton Lane experience significant increase in noise level due to the running of trains along the route.
Among those affected will be vice-chairman of Hopton and Coton Parish Council June Brown-Bullivant, who has lived in Kings Drive for 17 years, serving as chairman on the council for 12 years until May.
The railway will be visible from her back garden, which offers views across the town towards Stafford Castle.
"It's going to have a tremendous impact on Hopton, she said. "This is a beautiful village and it's built on a hillside. Mainly retired people live here.
"It's going right through the centre of the village. There must be eight to ten properties in the village which have been sold to HS2. There are some which will be demolished.
"I thought it was lovely when I came to live here but I'm not keen on how Stafford is developing.
"There are people in Kings Drive who would not be moving if it were for us. People are being forced out of their properties.
"It is very sad talking to people, they have bought these properties for their retirement expecting to live the rest of their life here.
"I think its going to be so expensive for people to travel and if it was here now business people would use it but by the time technology has advanced more and more people will be working from home."
The full extent of the high speed line between Fradley and Crewe – cutting through Yarlet, Marston, Hopton, Ingestre and Great Haywood – has been unveiled as part of HS2 Phase 2a.
Elsewhere in the Stafford borough, up to five properties in both Tolldish Lane in Great Haywood and Park Farm to the east of the Weston Road along Trent Walk near the Staffordshire County Showground – also being affected – will be brought down.
The route will slice through the middle of 120-acre Park Farm, leaving the farmhouse and bed and breakfast reduced to rubble.
Upper Moreton Farm, at Wolseley Bridge near Rugeley, is an educational farm for young people and adults with learning disabilities, autism and special educational needs – with users travelling from as far as Birmingham to use the facility.
The Community Interest Company – which has over 100 farm animals – will permanently lose 11 per cent of its 100 acres – more than was initially expected.
The directors say HS2 recognises the importance of our project and believe that people acting on behalf of the company will do as much as possible to safeguard the project for the future.
A spokesperson for HS2 said: "HS2 is Europe's largest infrastructure project, designed to increase capacity on our railways and improve connectivity between eight out of 10 of Britain's biggest cities, creating thousands of jobs and rebalancing our economy. We recognise that people will be concerned about the impacts of construction and we will work closely with communities to reduce impacts where possible and ensure the safety of the public.
“We understand that people living close to the line of route will be concerned about the impact the project may have on their properties.
"That’s why we have set up a series of compensation schemes to help give homeowners affected by the scheme the chance to sell their properties at their full unblighted market value, well ahead of the start of construction.”