One thought on “HS2 passing behind Tiree Close

  • Below is a letter I sent to various associated MP’s. It is an absolute scandal and a ridiculous proposal, that is both unfair and illogical. If they don’t listen we must keep agitating the debate. Feel free to use any of my comments as prompts in your own complaints.

    From: Andrew Walter
    Sent: 02 March 2017 10:58
    To: ‘anna.soubry.mp@parliament.uk’; ‘andrew.jones.mp@parliament.uk’; ‘chris.grayling.mp@parliament.uk’
    Subject: A clear & considered explanation of the significantly negative impacts, and the unfair treatment of the residents of Trowell, in Nottinghamshire, as a result of the planned HS2 route, plus a proposed solution

    Hi,
    I am writing to you, to describe a few specific issues surrounding the HS2 plans impacting the village of Trowell, near Nottingham. This just concentrates on a few key specific flaws in the plans, the appalling communication of these plans, the unfair compensation schemes, and the completely illogical justification of all of this.

    I cannot believe that any interested MP, or anyone senior within the HS2 planning teams, would want to dispute what I am saying, but would just appreciate the situation for what it is, and just amend. This is about people’s lives, not about defending rules and principles.

    At its worse though there are bigger stories with this. It could easily be portrayed as the HS2 plan doing whatever it wants, giving very limited time for debate about the impact on some of the most severely impacted households, on a 20 year project, when you’d expect lots of time for such debate.

    More cynically, it could be seen as having a ‘not so cleverly’ designed compensation scheme, designed by a third party, to deliberately minimise costs, based on illogical principles, that pays out where there aren’t many houses, but doesn’t pay out where there is the most severely impacted households. It is surprising that a project with such an ‘apparently’ good value case, should be so concerned with cutting costs, rather than doing the right thing. All of this hardly makes a good story, I am sure you will agree.

    If this is true though, then there are some pretty fundamental principles to be highlighted, around the way big government run projects are planned, and communicated, and the way good people are treated in Britain in 2017. I would have hoped this wasn’t to insult our intelligence, when justifying such plans. There will no doubt be much discussion over the HS2 construction, over the next 16 years, as the economic climate remains volatile, and the value case further scrutinised. This planned clear disregard for the welfare of the people living near the line, will not be the sort of press HS2 supporters will want.

    The Current Situation

    Currently we have a situation, where 8 years before the start of the scheduled 8 years of construction, of the HS2 line, we the residents of Trowell, Nottingham, have been given a few short weeks, to come to terms with the realisation that the current plan will mean;

    1.Significant negative disruption impacts, throughout an 8 year construction period, of not only building the HS2 rail line, but a massive viaduct, and the movement of the motorway
    2.A 45ft – 60ft high viaduct, dominating our line of sight on two sides of our houses, carrying up to 18 high speed trains an hour, within 50m of our houses, with presumably an element of safety risk
    3.A significant reduction in the valuation of our properties
    4.At the moment, no compensation at all for all of this, whereas households up to 300m away from the line in other locations, where the line will not be visible, stand to gain compensation.
    5.Hardly any time to appeal, which on such a long project seems odd
    6.Appalling communication of all of the above

    Just think about the impact of first moving the motorway, building a massive viaduct, and then trains hurtling past a few metres away, and think firstly if this is a severely negative thing or a positive thing on a house affected. Then ask secondly wouldn’t it be good to give people sufficient time to come to terms with this. Finally would insensitive and illogical attempts to justify this make it this seem better or worse.

    The Specifics

    There are a few specific, faults within what appears to be planned, that quite frankly are impossible to defend. I suggest anyone even attempting to, could only come across as either incredibly foolish, sticking to misguided principles, or at worse attempting to deliberately, reduce payments (or any combination of)

    1.Firstly, inexcusably not informing clearly us about the location, height, and size of a proposed 45ft – 65ft viaduct taking the train within 50m – 90m of our rooftops.

    This was conveniently missed off plans, that we were given on the HS2 open day at Trowell village hall, conveniently not mentioned in discussions with representatives, and conveniently missed off online maps, although other minor detail is included. The only map we have seen, (see attached map), shows the affected area towards the top. It is easy to spot because it is where the houses are, above where the coloured lines end, and the cut out lines, conveniently around properties. Note, no mention of a viaduct (negatively impacting), but the bullets in the key, show tunnels (hiding the trains, presumably a positive story). Even the fact sheet on the HS2 website does not provide details of the height of this construction. We feel that vital information has been withheld on something that will have such a massive, and negative impact on our properties, and our local area.

    Ask yourself if it is morally right to be running a project for over 20 years, and give households impacted by one of only three such big constructions, that run the closest to their houses of anyone on the whole route, a few short weeks to come to terms with it before a deadline . Ask yourself if it is acceptable that when given an opportunity to point out the viaduct, or put it on a map it wasn’t. Ask yourself if you would be happy if you were the affected party.

    2. Secondly, the proposed compensation packages gives our properties no compensation, even though we must be very close to the top of most negatively impacted locations, because the rules are unfair and illogical .

    The extent of this needs to be further exposed, as stringent urban / rural rules, cannot be adequate in all cases. Having at the moment no flexibility in this cannot be acceptable, and how can key decision makers believe that one set of deserving households is seen as having less right, and be less deserving than others. Here we are talking about every day, hardworking households who are legitimately asking for a fair voice and a fair deal, to prevent impacts that will affect their future welfare, and those of their families. Ask yourself if a compensation scheme should; a) pay out to those most negatively impacted by a project, or b) not pay these, but pay others who are much less affected. Ask yourself if a scheme that throws out these scenarios is somewhat flawed, and may need a tweak.

    This is compounded further by the misleading media coverage that we keep seeing that is just so untrue vs what we are experiencing that it borders on the serious portrayal of untruths. BBC 5 live last week, for just the latest example, said ‘of course households living nearby will be adequately compensated’, and a transport spokesmen agreed. We are obviously contacting the BBC & newspapers to explain how inadequate and unfair the compensation plans actually are, and the shockingly poor way that some of the most negatively impacted households are being treated. Although, I am sure the presenter may well have believed she was stating the truth, just as I hope the chap agreeing also thought he was, but it will be pointed out to them, just how untrue and misleading the interview was. Ask yourself if to make statements in interviews like that, that are so clear and confident, but wrong.. (it started with ‘of course’) , is anything but completely misleading, and could be argued is a deliberate attempt to ‘close the debate’.
    3.The third fairly unbelievable mistake, is to tell us that our houses will go up in value!!

    Apparently a 45ft – 60ft high construction, with 18 trains an hour flying by, along the length of the road, can all be constructed at no disruption impact, and will cause an increase in our property value in 20 years from now, because we can get to London in under an hour vs an hour & a half. Stretching logic a bit. Apparently though households no further from a station, who can catch the same train, and who do not get such negative impacts will see their property prices fall, so are deserving of compensation. Ask yourself if this makes the slightest bit of sense at all. Ask yourself if someone attempting to justify looks incredibly foolish or not.

    The Solution

    Once the full information is properly understood by the key decision makers and stakeholders, it should be apparent that the situation should just be rectified, because on the scale of things, such clear and obvious mistreatment of households, and such illogical arguments, cannot really be justified. Also not doing so could potentially do more harm left unrectified, than just doing the right thing and sorting appropriately.

    It appears there are two points to decide on; 1) is probably on balance an either / or, but potentially could just about justify & amplify decision 2) in terms of adequate compensation.

    1. Decide that the viaduct runs too close to houses, to be reasonable and safe, and therefore change the design, OR buy the properties if a redesign is not possible

    2. Decide that the compensation schemes unfairly penalise deserving cases like those in Trowell, and modify these schemes, to fairly compensate in proportion to the negative impact. This is surely the intended outcome of such compensation schemes.

    Thank you for understanding our concerns, our justifiable claims, and in support of the rectifying these current, unfortunate, but you’d think on the scale of things, rectifiable issues.

    Of course these comments are being included in the online consultation sites, but I hope you’ll appreciate, being contacted directly, with the full and clear explanation of our concerns, so you can help deal with speedily & appropriately.

    Andrew Walter

    14 Iona Drive

    Trowell

    Nottingham

    NG9 3RF

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