Couple fear home could be bulldozed

Betty and Dick Bishton fear they could lose their home to HS2. Stanton By Dale.
Betty and Dick Bishton fear they could lose their home to HS2. Stanton By Dale.

An elderly couple could see their home bulldozed to make way for the HS2 railway line.

Betty and Dick Bishton of Stanton Gate bought their home in Stanton Gate eight years ago to see out their final days but are now living in limbo while a final decision is made on the route.

A map of the proposed route shows that the track would be go directly through where their house currently stands.

The couple who have both battled cancer, now have to wait another year to find out whether they will lose their home.

They were told in a letter from the Department of Transport that a compulsory purchase order will be made on their house if the ‘initial preferred route is given the go ahead.

Betty, 76, said: “We have put everything we have got into this place. We bought it as our last home to see our final days.

“They should have made their minds up by the end of September and now they have put it back a year. It just puts us in limbo again.

“It’s always on your mind. We don’t feel like it’s worth spending any money on the house”

Dick added: “It’s like a waiting game.”

Betty has written to HS2 but had no reply. She said: “It’s just bricks and mortar to them, it’s not a home.”

Dick, 79, said: “We couldn’t believe it when we first got the letter, Betty was sobbing for days but I said ‘ignore it.’

A Department for Transport spokeswoman said: “We completely understand the concerns and anxieties of those living near the line and it is only right that those people are properly looked after. HS2 Ltd has already responded to two letters from the couple’s MP sent on their behalf and are happy to answer any further queries. HS2 will transform many people’s lives for the better, but where its impacts are less positive we are doing all we can to provide the right help.

“We are carefully considering more than 10,000 responses to the consultation into the preferred route we announced for the line between Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds and will give an update later this year.”