Single mother sold ‘forever home’ to make way for now cancelled HS2 line

·2-min read
Houses on the new Shimmer estate in Mexborough, South Yorkshire, had to be sold as a result of HS2 plans (Amy Murphy/PA) (PA Archive)
Houses on the new Shimmer estate in Mexborough, South Yorkshire, had to be sold as a result of HS2 plans (Amy Murphy/PA) (PA Archive)

A single mother has said she sold her “forever home” to make way for the construction of HS2 which will no longer be built.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps confirmed in the Commons on Thursday that the eastern leg of HS2 was being scrapped, sparing a number of homes from demolition – including in Mexborough, South Yorkshire.

The Department for Transport announced in 2017 that 16 homes on the Shimmer housing estate in the town would need to be bulldozed to accommodate its plans, and bar owner Tara Wellard was one of those who had to sell.

Tara Wellard’s previous home in Mexborough, which she was forced to sell to make way for HS2 construction (Tara Wellard)
Tara Wellard’s previous home in Mexborough, which she was forced to sell to make way for HS2 construction (Tara Wellard)

When the HS2 route was confirmed, the 39-year-old sold the house at market value and moved to a different estate nearby.

“If HS2 wasn’t going through, I would still be in that house today… that’s not fair”, Ms Wellard told the PA news agency.

“I still haven’t really recovered… I still drive past my house every single day, twice a day.

“I look and I think ‘God that was my forever home’.”

I look and I think 'God that was my forever home'.

Tara Wellard

Ms Wellard said she would consider buying her house back if given the opportunity.

“If our houses are now not going to get knocked down… we should have the first refusal on those houses,” she said.

The PA news agency understands that properties that are no longer required for HS2’s construction will be offered back to the former owners at current market value.

A Department for Transport spokesperson said: “The Government has committed to further development work on the most effective way to run HS2 trains to Leeds.

“Safeguarding of the previously proposed route will remain in place and all property acquired will continue to be managed by HS2 Ltd until conclusion of this work.”

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