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Andrew Bridgen rages at HS2 after being forced to sell house: ‘Absolute national scandal!’

today11/10/2023

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Ex-Conservative MP Andrew Bridgen has called for thousands of homeowners and businesses affected by the High Speed 2 route to be afforded compensation.

Bridgen, now a Reclaim MP, was the only Parliamentarian to lose his house to the project which now faces the threat of cancellation beyond Birmingham as costs surge.


Speaking on GB News, the 58-year-old claims the project saw him “diddled out” of £500,000 as he ended up with a compensation payment that was less than the cost of the property.

He told Patrick Christys that he now feels “vindicated” for his steadfast criticism.

Andrew Bridgen

Andrew Bridgen has been personally hit by HS2

GB NEWS

“I’ve been through the process of how HS2 acquire property”, he told GB News.

“I had used consultants because being an MP, I didn’t think it was right for me to deal directly with HS2.

“When they are going to buy your property or land or business, they give you a list of 10 authorised valuers, all pretty much big firms from London, not local at all.

“You choose one and HS2 chooses one. They both come out to your property. They do a valuation and if they’re within 10 per cent, they split the difference and that’s the price you’ll get.

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“Clearly if these valuers put low prices in, they’ve got a chance of being picked by HS2 every time, so clearly the psychological pressure on those valuers is to lower the prices so that HS2 picks them every time, because they’re going to choose the people who put the low prices in.”

Bridgen continued: “I paid £2.1million for the house in Leicestershire in 2011, I paid £110,000 for the stamp duty, I paid £100,000 for the fixtures fittings and I improved it by another £100,000.

“Four years later I was given £1.89million by HS2, so they did me out of £500,000 after tax.”

The Government could be posed to axe the Birmingham-Manchester leg of HS2 as costs soar.

Protestors outside Birmingham Civil Justice Centre, as environmental activists opposed to the HS2 rail link have told a court a route-wide injunction being sought against "persons unknown" could prevent peaceful protest against illegal tree-felling and "wildlife crimes".

HS2 has been branded a ‘white elephant’ by its critics

PA

“It’s affected thousands of properties and thousands of property owners”, he told Patrick Christys.

“No ones got fair value for their properties, they’ve all been dealt with exactly the same way I was and it’s an absolute national scandal.”

Downing Street said there is precedent to delaying aspects of the scheme because of “affordability pressures”.

In October, the Government estimated the cost of the Manchester leg at up to £71billion, while in June, they reported that £22.5billion had already been spent on the initial leg to Birmingham, with a further £2.3billion set to be ploughed into subsequent phases.

All these figures were calculated using 2019 prices, and they would have substantially increased due to inflation, reflecting rising costs of materials and wages.

Bridgen added that he feels “vindicated” as the Prime Minister deals with increased pressure to ditch the project.

“It’s grossly mismanaged, we can’t afford it and it’s going to be an albatross around the country and the Government’s neck”, he said.

“I think I’ve been vindicated quite honestly, but I think we should have a class action of people who’ve been forced to sell their properties that will never be needed.”



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