Company director, 59, loses his ‘home, business and livelihood’ because of the HS2 northern leg – only for it to be scrapped
- Roly Bardsley wanted to use his home as collateral to keep his business afloat
- Banks refused to let the 59-year-old do this, as his house was close to HS2 route
- He was denied a compulsory purchase order as it was not directly on the route
A company director yesterday told how he had lost his ‘home, business and livelihood’ thanks to the planned HS2 Manchester leg — for nothing.
Roly Bardsley, 59, wanted to use his home as collateral for a loan to help keep his construction business, which employed 200 people, running when it hit a rocky patch.
But with the line set to come within 40 yards of the property in Stanthorne, Cheshire, lenders would not allow such a deal and the firm ran out of cash.
Meanwhile, he was denied a compulsory purchase order by HS2 because the property was not directly on the proposed railway.
Despite not needing to buy Mr Bardsley’s property, HS2 has spent nearly £600million buying property in the Midlands and North for scrapped parts of the project.
Roly Bardsley, 59, wanted to use his home as collateral for a loan to help keep his construction business, which employed 200 people, running when it hit a rocky patch
He was denied a compulsory purchase order by HS2 because the property was not directly on the proposed railway
Some £423million has reportedly been spent buying 424 properties between Birmingham and Manchester, with people selling up including the comedian John Bishop, who sold his mansion in Whatcroft, Cheshire, for £6.8m in 2019.
A further £164million was spent buying 530 properties for the proposed eastern leg from the West Midlands to Leeds, West Yorkshire, which was ‘paused’ in 2021.
‘I tried to sell it and estate agents laughed at me. It was blighted forever,’ he added.
Mr Bardsley’s business — established by his father, also called Roland, in 1964 — went into administration before Christmas in 2019 reportedly owing £45million.
He said the failed rail project meant he ‘lost everything’.
Mr Bardsley told the BBC the line would have left his house on ‘an island with no means of access’.
He said: ‘It was unbelievable. They refused to compulsorily purchase it because (the line) didn’t knock the house down.
‘I would have had trains travelling at 240 miles an hour every twelve minutes, 40 yards from my window.
‘I was in financial distress caused by them. I lost my business. I lost my livelihood. And I lost my home.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has cancelled HS2’s northern leg, which Mr Bardsley’s home was close to
Mr Bardsley’s house in Stanthorne, Cheshire, was near to the proposed Crewe-Manchester branch of HS2
‘It is profoundly the worst thing that’s ever happened to me and my family ever.’
Mr Bardsley said his life was ‘going well’ before the project but he now finds it too upsetting to drive past his old property — where his children grew up and which he did eventually sell — because there are ‘too many memories’.
He added: ‘We had everything there. I think we could have lived there forever.’
Although supportive of the concept of HS2, he added: ‘I was expecting clean answers, a solution and to move on.
‘It cost everything I had. I spent everything we had in the bank.
‘Now that HS2 is not going to happen, it has destroyed lives. It’s been a decade of hell.’
Homeowners on the proposed eastern route can still apply to sell because the land remains ‘safeguarded’ in case the scheme is revived by a future government.
Separately, £2.8billion has been spent buying 920 homes for phase one between Euston and Birmingham.
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