HOMEOWNERS in North Warwickshire affected by the controversial HS2 train face another agonising wait.
Transport minister Justine Deeming has announced that consultation over compensation for those living along the route has been delayed until the autumn.
That will anger hundreds of people whose homes have already been blighted by plans for the 250 mph ‘Bullet Train.’
Some of them in Water Orton and other areas of North Warwickshire claim the value of their properties have already plunged by between 30 and 50 per cent.
One householder said he had 19 people interested when he first put his home on the market and all of them pulled out when they learned it was only a kilometre from the proposed route.
Justine Deeming said she had delayed the consultation until after Parliament returns from its summer break because she said she wanted to be ‘fair’ to all those affected by the £32 billion project that will drastically cut the journey time from London to Birmingham.
The Transport minister said: “It is my intention to deliver a generous compensation package for those affected by the route which goes over and above the minimum required by law.”
But that is unlikely to satisfy campaigners battling to protect acres of Warwickshire countryside and those who have to give up their homes to make way for the train.
Protest meeting have been held in North Warwickshire which will be particularly affected and where the Y-junction that will carry a future spur of HS2 northwards will also be situated.
There has been speculation in the National Press that the proposed high speed rail link is already ‘dead in the water.’
Critics claim that the government’s proposals to build a £32 billion railway that shaved minutes off the journey time between two cities already well connected by a fast train link, in an era when more people than ever are using Skype conferences, rather than travelling to meetings by train and when we can barely afford the public services we have already got are ‘vainglorious, empty and deluded.’
But Justine Greening insisted: “Work on the project continues apace and I will be publishing my preferred routes in the autumn.”
Under the current plans, homeowners have to wait until 2027, a year after the controversial line opens, before they can apply for compensation.
But the Coalition Government has pledged to review the issue because it has left families along the line unable to move or sell.
The consultation over compensation was due to start in May, but has been delayed until September.