Whether you agree with HS2 or not it is important to understand how it is, and could affect where you live. The UK Government has already paid out £36million to West Midlands homeowners unable to sell up because the HS2 scheme has blighted their properties. The highest sum paid was £1.75 million for Cuttle Mill Fishery in Wishaw, on the edge of Sutton Coldfield but it is not just high end houses which have been blighted at the other end of the scale, £104,000 has been paid for a property in Birchmoor, near Tamworth. At least 700 people are believed to be applying for compensation for blighted property – even though the final go-ahead for the route has not yet been given.
But, could the HS2 rail link revive Birmingham’s property market? The prospect of journey times being cut to 50 minutes is hoped to entice more prospective buyers to the area. From 2016, Birmingham would be the first stop and for some years the only stop in place. The current two-and-a-half hour car journey from central Birmingham to London is thought to deter people from living in the West Midlands, whilst it is hoped that the prospect of a mere 50 minutes on a train may attract people to the area. Birmingham City Council leader John Clancy labelled HS2, “a huge game-changer” that will “super-charge” Birmingham inevitably bringing more jobs a greater demand for property in and around Birmingham effecting Sutton Coldfield too that was recently described as “Birmingham’s answer to Ascot” by James Way of Knight Frank.
Taking all of this into consideration the question still hangs, do we really need HS2 and if we do build it will they come?