‘You couldn’t make it up...’

Boris’s dad gets mil­lions for HS2-blighted home while Ruis­lip loses out

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - By Kather­ine Cle­men­tine kather­ine.cle­men­tine@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

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.

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“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!

“We

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

Stu­art Wil­son

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