RAIL bosses have been accused of failing to reveal the whole truth on the number of homes that will be demolished to make way for the HS2 rail link.
The Department for Transport said in its formal decision report about the controversial rail link that 16 homes on the unfinished Shimmer estate in Mexborough would be in the path of the bulldozers.
But Mexborough First councillor Sean Gibbons said he expected the true number in line for demolition to be much higher.
The Weekender has seen a document issued to Cllr Gibbons which reveals the properties on the estate clearly earmarked for the wrecking ball – Comelbybank Drive houses number 74, 76, 78, 80, 82, 84, 86, 114, 116, 118, 120, 124, 126, and 128 – with 122 and 130 also potential victims.
Cllr Gibbons said he feared there would be “far more than 16 property demolitions” on the Shimmer estate due to the large scale of the rail project.
He said: “We believe that, if the M18 route does go ahead as planned, the whole of the Shimmer estate will have to be demolished.
“We have called for an urgent judicial review at this travesty and undemocratic handling by (Secretary of State for Transport) Chris Grayling and DfT/HS2 and their knowledge that there would be far more demolitions/greater community impact on the M18 route compared to the Meadowhall route.”
Demolition information was presented in a report published after the eastern route was picked on July 17 in preference to one passing through Meadowhall.
The Phase 2b Route Decision report said: “HS2 Ltd’s advice is that the M18/Eastern route would require 35 residential and 16 commercial demolitions, including 16 residential properties at the Shimmer estate.
“The refined Meadowhall route would require 80 residential and 47 commercial demolitions.”
The report said some respondents to the consultation had argued that the M18 route demolitions should be taken to include the full 216 properties originally planned at the Shimmer estate, but at the current level of route design “only 16 properties at the Shimmer estate would need to be demolished”.
It added: “The entire estate has been safeguarded due to construction and engineering challenges.”
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