Twenty-two homes on a new-build estate in Derbyshire have been bought by HS2, the Derbyshire Times can reveal.
The houses – which are in the small village of Newton near Tibshelf – are just metres from where the £55billion line’s spur will cut through.
However, only 10 of the properties lie within the so-called ‘safeguarded zone’ and many villagers think HS2 bosses have given the developer special treatment.
Tony Mellors, spokesman for the HS2 Blackwell Group, denounced the move as a ‘scandal’.
He said: “There is understandably an angry reaction from local residents.
“Residents believe that the developer had been having difficulty selling several of the 12 properties purchased which are outside the safeguarded zone – bungalows are apparently not so popular even before the announcement of the spur.
There is understandably an angry reaction from local residents.Tony Mellors
“Other residents in the safeguarded zone feel that they are not being treated as fairly or as quickly in their negotiations with HS2 concerning their properties.”
The houses – which are all part of the Newton Fields development – have since appeared on the Rightmove property website at rents which vary between £525 to £895 per calendar month.
The adverts, which do not mention HS2, describe the properties as ‘an exciting opportunity’ to rent a selection of ‘high quality’ homes on ‘new development’.
An HS2 spokesman said: “The Secretary of State made the decision to purchase all of the completed homes on the Newton Fields development site not already in private ownership so that they can be rented out and properly managed, rather than leaving them unoccupied.
“In order to ensure value for the taxpayer, we rent out the vast majority of lettable properties and plan to sell all those we don’t need for construction, once the first trains are running.
“An exceptional package of property compensation and assistance measures has been developed, and we are committed to ensuring that support is in place for individuals and communities directly affected by HS2.
“We ensure that everyone is treated fairly and will continue to work with affected individuals and communities along the route as the more detailed design is developed.”