New homes will be bulldozed to make way for HS2 railway line

The Government has confirmed that 16 newly built properties in South Yorkshire will be demolished to make way for the HS2 railway.

Residents on the Shimmer housing estate in Mexborough have learned they will lose their homes after ministers finalised the route for the controversial high-speed line.

Affected homeowners will be offered comparable properties, the Department for Transport has promised.

The Government has concluded that this route will result in considerably fewer demolitions, as proposed alternatives would require greater numbers of homes and businesses to be knocked down.

But some campaigners have argued that the impact HS2 will have on the Shimmer housing estate is being downplayed, as 216 homes were originally planned at the site.

The demolitions were revealed as the DfT confirmed the final route of the Manchester and Leeds sections of HS2, which will extend the high-speed line being built from London to Birmingham.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has said the route will create new connections between Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Sheffield and the East Midlands.

He added: "By building a whole new railway line for high-speed intercity connections, we will free up local services, meaning more comfort, more seats and more trains for passengers across the North and the Midlands.

"We will now press ahead with building the line, while continuing to ensure affected communities get appropriate support and are treated with fairness, compassion and respect."

Some residents at the Shimmer housing estate have expressed concern that the Government will not give them a decent price for their properties.

"What they're offering you is peanuts," Nigel Hogue told Sky News.

Stop HS2 has also responded angrily to the announcement - claiming the Government had shown "sheer arrogance" by choosing the route "without even assessing the public response to the consultation".

Chairwoman Penny Gaines said: "While it has been presented to help transport in the North, HS2 is mainly about making it easier to get to London, as there are no east-west links involved.

"It will make no difference to journeys from Leeds to Manchester or Sheffield to Manchester."