Bascote Heath couple who felt suicidal over HS2 get glimmer of hope in their claim for compensation

Computer-generated visuals of HS2
Computer-generated visuals of HS2

A Bascote Heath couple who admitted on a BBC television documentary that they had considered suicide due to HS2 have now found hope in their case for compensation.

Pauline and John Hughes went before the High Speed Rail (London - West Midlands) Bill Committee on Tuesday morning to describe how their house is only about 170 metres away from the planned site of a tunnel on the route of the line which has greatly reduced the value of the property in the eyes of estate agents and potential buyers.

The couple are hoping to move near their 42-year-old son who needs regular care because he has a deteriorating arthritic condition, and have concerns about how to provide for their future but can not do this without being paid compensation for the blight HS2 has caused on their lives.

And after hearing their case, the committee member Sir Peter Bottomley said it was clear the couple were entitled to compensation under HS2’s need to sell scheme.

Mrs Hughes said: “We were just so relieved that someone has taken a common sense approach. The support was very positive from all of the committee members and we really feel as if somebody has seen the light.

“We just hope now that there aren’t any more hurdles. The point I have akways made is that what has been planned by HS2 is detrimental to the health and wellbeing of elderly and sick people all along the line. It might be up and running in 20 years and it may help some people but that is too late for us.

“The committee’s decision has given us a glimmer of hope and I now want start to get my life back on track.”

Southam Town Council and the town’s action group also presented their joint petition to the committee.

The petition included a request for the committee to instruct HS2 to carry out a full assessment of the impact of the construction of the line. the running line itself, light pollution and sound pollution on the environment, traffic, business and employment, health and wellbeing and the community as whole.

A request was also made for those businesses and householders affected by the plans to be given adequate compensation.

The council and action group both refuted HS2’s claim that the impact of the line on Southam would be ‘negligible’.

And a proposal for a revised route past - and to the west of - Southam and between Ufton and Harbury was also put forward.