Saturday, 7 January 2017

"Lawyer launches petition against HS2 after saying she will have no choice but to sell her home"

Emailed in by Chrome Man from the Manchester Evening News:

A lawyer who feels she has no choice but to sell her home over plans to build a railway beneath it has launched a petition against HS2...

There is one fairly obvious alternative to selling her home i.e. not selling her home. As she can sell her home, there are people willing to acquire it and continue using it as a home.

A 7.9 mile, 45m deep tunnel will be dug from Wythenshawe to Ardwick as part of the £56bn project...

So a heck of a lot of money will be spent on minimising the impact of HS2, and our lawyer is one of the many home owners who will benefit from that.

But Hamida Khatun, 38, first realised the HS2 track was routed below her home when the M.E.N reported on it. Despite government assurances residents won’t feel the effects, Hamida’s horrified...

The tunnel is going to be a staggering 45m down, you will not feel anything at ground level.

... and believes a ‘legacy’ to her children has been destroyed.

It's a bog standard house.

And although she could apply for compensation under HS2’s ‘Need to Sell’ scheme, she knows - and HS2 Ltd has confirmed - that success would be unlikely.

The tunnel will be 45m down. A lot of homeowners will benefit from the improved transport link (or that's the intention, at least) and some will benefit more than other. Perhaps it is true that the tunnel will shave a few quid off the value of her 'legacy' but overall, the increase in value because of HS2 will far outweigh it. And why is it that people demand compensation if something happens which depresses the value of their home but won't countenance the idea of paying a bit more tax if something happens which increases the value of their house?

The mum of two, of Reynell Road, Longsight , said: “When I bought this house 15 years ago and then slowly added value...

Slowly watched it go up in price along with house prices generally, more like, for no effort on her part.

"I thought I would leave it to my kids to pay off their debt..."

What debt? What has that got to do with anything?

"I could have moved to London but I made a sacrifice to live in this community..."

Condescending cow.

"My friends and family are here..."

Ah, perhaps that's why she stayed in Manchester.

"... and now HS2 are [sic] forcing people to change their way of life."

How? It's a house, for people to live in.

“If I can find a buyer, I will, because we don’t feel able to leave this for the kids to help their future."

Why not? It's a house etc.What will the new owner do differently?

Hamida and husband Jamal, 40, bought the house for £45,000 in 2002 but after investing heavily it was worth £150,000 at its last valuation.

The bulk of that increase is down to normal house price inflation and has naff all to do with any improvements they might have paid for. And if she sells it, she will get considerably more than £45,000 plus a few quid for new carpets or whatever.

They had planned to buy a second house while holding on to their Longsight property as an investment for daughters Zara, eight, and Liza, 12.

Aha. She doesn't even need the house and they can afford to buy another one.

Residents living under the tunnel are only entitled to a £50 payment for their subsoil plus £250 to seek advice.

'Under' the tunnel?

Other than that, they can apply for Government cash with the ‘Need to Sell’ scheme, but applicants must first prove their own attempts to sell have been dashed by HS2.

They don't need to sell, end of.

Alternatively, if their home is damaged during construction, they can claim later - although HS2 say modern construction techniques mean tunnelling effects are ‘generally small and typically go unnoticed’.

Half of central London is above some tunnel or other, they dig new ones all the time and I've never heard about anything bad happening at ground level.


Lola said...

The only possible response is 'FFS'.

James Higham said...

There is one fairly obvious alternative to selling her home i.e. not selling her home.

That's so and the rest of the post is fair enough, Mark but sometimes they give you no choice, whilst pretending it's still your decision, which is it is. You can always choose to remain in the path of a charging bull.

Jay Newman said...

In my view home owners should be forced to pick up litter and dog poo at weekends, because of their enormous tax free wind falls they have enjoyed over the last few decade, generally at the expense of the young and renters.

Curtis said...

While Manchester in general may benefit from HS2, if the line is going 45m under her house she (and her house price) probably won't benefit directly from it that much. That's if she is still around when it finally opens.

The fact she can afford another house is not relevant.

Anyway if she does sell she is probably going have to buy another for roughly the same price, so the "windfall" gain won't be realised just yet. Is this a KLN?

Looking at the map, she is already close to a train station and also some schools so the only thing HS2 would add is improved access to London.

But as Mark says, the construction is unlikely to impact her anyway so there is no reason to sell because of that. And the funniest thing is Mark's first point - how is she going to talk up the house to a potential buyer if she feels that it's not worth living there?

Mark Wadsworth said...

L, yes.

JH, if the line were above ground and is going to be built right past her back garden then clearly her house will fall in value and she would be entitled to comp. As things stands, she hasn't suffered a loss.

JN, I prefer Land Value Tax.

C, ta for extra research, maybe HS2 will not increase the location value of her home very much, but it will be an increase not a decrease. With railway improvements, we observe that prices tend to jump as soon as the project is given the go ahead.

Ben Jamin' said...

Doesn't she own everything beneath her home to the centre of the Earth?

Perhaps she should threaten to start sinking some bore holes unless they cough up some rent.

I would :)

Ben F said...

" They had planned to buy a second house while holding on to their Longsight property as an investment for daughters Zara, eight, and Liza, 12."

Rentier scum.

Sarah Green said...

No one wants HS2. This £56 bn project is more like £80 bn and rising at a time when the NHS is failing and students have to pay for education. Most of this publicly borrowed money is going into private pockets and foreign companies. Our children and grandchildren will carry the burden. Have the people of England ever been asked do we want this expensive train, through ancient woodlands, beauty spots and wetland floodplains? It is only for the rich from and to cities already connected by trains.
No we don't want it.
And the worst thing is that it replaces sustainable employment and nature with short term jobs cutting down trees.
Look at the Colne Valley West London a recreation and tourist area of wetland nature reserves. All to be bulldozed.
I will be standing in front of the bulldozers so lets see if common sense can prevail and Stop HS2.

Mark Wadsworth said...

SG, I have been convinced that HS2 makes no economic sense, so agreed so far...

But applying your logic, no motorways or railways should ever have been built and we would have to tear up all railway lines and motorways and re-instate "nature".

Is that really what you want? Do you never take the train or drive on a motorway? Do you not buy stuff in shops that was delivered by lorry?

Dinero said...

I agree the economic case is debatable, for employment in the North , usually good transport links promote commerce moving away from the periphery and locating at the center. And post Brexit the imperative for reducing the journey time between the North to the continant for political reasons is different.

Bayard said...

"SG, I have been convinced that HS2 makes no economic sense,"

unless you are a Brummie landowner, that is.

The idea of a high-speed link to the north-west makes sense, just not how they've chosen to do it.