'We thought that knocking down our house was a joke'
HOUSEHOLDERS David and Karen Cornes thought they were the victims of a practical joke last week – when a newspaper reporter asked them how they felt about a high-speed railway line running directly through their house.
They sent the reporter away without a response and thought no more about it – until friends later told them to examine maps showing the route of the HS2 rail network.
They discovered that their Madeley home will have to be bulldozed to make way for the route.
Now the couple have joined the protests over the route and attended a public meeting at the Madeley Centre on Saturday afternoon.
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Mr Cornes, aged 67, of Bar Hill, said: "We thought it was a joke. Some of our friends have got that type of sense of humour, so we thought it was a trick and I sent the reporter away.
"After, when I heard what was happening, I realised I should have invited him in.
"I run my heating and plumbing business from my home so if we lose our home, I lose my business as well.
"We couldn't sell the property now because no-one is going to buy it with HS2 hanging over it.
"If the compensation offered by the Government is not good enough for us to buy a similar property somewhere else then we are snookered."
Mrs Cornes, aged 56, said: "We would have to think about moving away, but I was born in Madeley and my parents still live here, so I don't want to go anywhere else.
"I'm upset about the way it has been done.
"It was a big shock. We didn't get a letter about the route until a few days after the announcement."
Mr and Mrs Cornes joined around 200 other residents at the meeting called by Stone MP Bill Cash.
Madeley High School pupil Adam Barr, aged 12, of Baldwins Gate, said: "The proposed route goes right behind our house and I would like to know the noise levels.
"I think young people should be more involved in this. Our generation will have to pay for it in 20 years' time."