Residents on a newly-constructed estate in Yorkshire have been informed of changes to the HS2 line which may mean that the houses they have just purchased may be required for the new train line.
The change of plan, which has not yet been confirmed, may save the Department for Transport money in construction of the new line and is said to impact fewer people than the current proposed route. It will also utilise the existing station in Sheffield rather than requiring the construction of a new one and may create more jobs than the existing plan.
This is little comfort however for those who have just bought houses on the Shimmer estate, and for the developer who is still constructing new homes.
When buying the land (in the case of the developer) and the individual homes (in the case of the residents), their solicitors will no doubt have carried out the appropriate due diligence, including a search with HS2 to check the land is not affected by HS2 proposals. Unfortunately such searches can only reveal the situation at the time of the search and is not a guarantee that the position will not change in the future. It appears that is what has happened in this case.
A new housing estate could be bulldozed if changes to the planned high-speed rail route HS2 go ahead. HS2 has announced a new route through South Yorkshire, scrapping a proposed station in Meadowhall in favour of a stop in Sheffield city centre. People living on the Shimmer estate in Mexborough have been told that "some or all of their land" may be required if the plans are approved.