‘You couldn’t make it up...’
Boris’s dad gets millions for HS2-blighted home while Ruislip loses out
BORIS Johnson’s father was forced to leave his multi-million pound home to make way for HS2, whilst Ruislip residents have moved away without receiving a penny.
Stanley Johnson, 75, father of the Mayor of London and Uxbridge and South Ruislip MP, was left ‘tearful’ and ‘heartbroken’ after being left with no option but to sell his ‘life’s investment’ to the Department for Transport.
The five-bed mansion was set to lose almost all of its value due to being just ten metres from the controversial subterranean track.
Mr Johnson senior bought the house for £2.5million in 2007 but reluctantly decided to move after qualifying for HS2’s ‘need to sell’ scheme after saying he wanted to be nearer to his 93-yearold mother-in-law.
He put his home, in Primrose Hill, up for sale in March 2014, with a guide price of £4.25million. The amount of compensation he has received has not been disclosed.
Meanwhile, Boris Johnson has joined campaigners up and down Hillingdon borough to see the effects the high speed rail link will have on residents.
A source told The Mirror: “Stanley has always loved the house and its garden and wanted to leave it to his family. He is devastated as he believes it was worth at least £5million before the HS2 plans were first made public.
“He has repeatedly tried to get Boris to step in and intervene in the plans, but he always refused and said he broadly supports HS2. He has told people even Boris couldn’t save him.”
Stanley has been one of the leading opponents of the routing of HS2, which he has said should terminate at Old Oak Common – if built at all.
Stanley and his neighbours had earlier been devastated when told they would have to move out of their homes for up to three years.
The source added: “People in the area can’t believe the government are turning their lives upside down like this all for the sake of a railway designed to cut 20 minutes off commuter journeys from London to Birmingham.”
An ex-Ruislip resident wishes he had thought of Johnson senior’s reason for moving house, after he found out the HS2 tunnel would be metres below his garden.
Paul Freeman, and his wife Ginnie sold the home in Ickenham Close that they were ‘quite happy to stay’ in, to neighbouring borough Buckinghamshire and felt ‘blighted’.
He said: “My wife and I were told that we were not entitled to any form of compensation even though we would have the tunnel running under our garden and we were not candidates for the need to sell scheme. Guess I needed an elderly relative to look after!
eventually managed to sell privately – having been knocked down by the purchasers of course – and are now told that the new occupiers may be entitled to compensation even though they bought the house in full knowledge of HS2. You couldn’t make it up.”
HS2 would not offer the pair compensation as the tunnel is 30 metres underground, but they lived near the incline towards the train emerging at ground level so the tunnel would have been closer to their home.
n HS2 COMPENSATION: Stanley Johnson qualified