HS2 bombshell for Whitmore couple
GRANDPARENTS Joy and Vic Williams have told how their retirement has been plunged into uncertainty after they discovered the proposed high-speed rail-link will pass just metres from their dream home.
The bombshell has left the pensioners terrified they will now be unable to sell the £350,000 cottage when they become too old to look after it.
Now the couple – both in their 70s – fear their twilight years will be dogged by a grim battle with the Government for compensation.
Retired Hartshill businesswoman Joy said: "I felt physically sick when we heard how close the link is coming to our back door.
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"I have been here 25 years and it is an idyllic setting. We even have deer coming into the field next to us. It's beautiful.
"Now that will all be ruined if this goes ahead. I am absolutely devastated."
Their home, Snape Hill Cottage, in Snape Hill Road, Whitmore, is one of the closest properties to where a deep cutting is planned to slice through fields and take the HS2 link into a tunnel under Whitmore Heath. The tracks will pass just 60 metres away from their back door and will be clearly visible from the garden.
Husband Vic, an engineer, added: "I didn't have a view one way of the other about HS2 until my son, Martin, called last week to see if I knew where it would be going in the village.
"I looked on the website and was shocked beyond belief to see the route was just beyond our garden.
"The next two or three years will be a big worry as we will perhaps find it harder to look after the house and garden and may want to look for somewhere smaller.
"We will have no chance of selling the house as no-one will want to live so close to the tracks and, even if they did, they won't get a mortgage. So we will be dragged into a compensation battle at such a time of our lives."
The Williams' described their concerns as MP Bill Cash vowed to fight the HS2 project.
Speaking to 250 protesters during a meeting at Whitmore Village Hall, the Stone MP, pictured left, said: "We are organising a solid campaign inside Parliament to block this and I am confident that with public support we will win."