'HS2 Rail announcement ruined sale of house in north west Leicestershire'
A £400,000 house sale collapsed following the announcement the HS2 rail line would cut through Leicestershire, an estate agent said.
Peter Whitehead, a partner at John German estate agents in Ashby, said he also had two or three other sales in the area hanging in the balance following the Government's confirmation of the route on Monday.
The purchase of the £400,000 home, in the Packington area, had been close to completion after about six weeks of negotiations.
However, when the prospective buyers yesterday realised the property was about a quarter of a mile from the proposed 250mph railway line, they pulled out.
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Mr Whitehead said: "It's a terrible situation. We were close to completing the sale and they came in and said because of HS2 they couldn't do it.
"What's the seller going to do? He will be mightily cheesed off."
Mr Whitehead warned the second phase of the £33 billion track, which will link Birmingham to Leeds, will blight the area and affect house prices.
"It is a concern and it will have an impact on house prices and saleability," he said.
"Yes, this could be 25 years away and I don't want to be a doom-monger, but if you are looking to buy in the area you would ask yourself, 'Do I want to be living very close to a railway line that will have trains going down it at 250mph?'"
Mr Whitehead said one client had e-mailed him, saying: "Having seen this, I don't think anyone will want to buy this house or any other in the area."
He said: "There will be an initial uproar and then it will quieten down a bit but solicitors will do their local searches in the future and HS2 will always come up."
The 116-mile Birmingham to Leeds leg of HS2 is not expected to open until 2032.
Martyn Baum, of Hartley's Estate agents in Ashby, said: "I have had a couple of clients asking what will happen to their house values. It's answers on a postcard. I can't say there won't be a negative impact. So far, I haven't heard any horror stories."
North West Leicestershire MP Andrew Bridgen faces having the line run 100ft from his home in Appleby Magna.
He said: "I am one of the people affected personally. I am getting e-mails from people in desperate situations and the worry will continue."
The Government has a compensation scheme – The Exceptional Hardship Scheme – open to home, business and land owners in the vicinity of the preferred route.
Under it, qualifying applicants would have their property bought at 100 per cent of their unblighted market value.
Qualification depends on factors including location in relation to the line, previous efforts to sell the property and a pressing need to sell.
Leicestershire County Council leader Nick Rushton has condemned the route as "all pain and no gain for the county," because the nearest stop would be at Toton, which lies between Nottingham and Derby.
He said the line would carve through attractive countryside and threaten the proposed Roxhill rail fright depot near Castle Donington and the 6,000 jobs it would create.
It emerges from a tunnel under East Midlands Airport in the middle of the site.
Yesterday, HS2 director Ian Jordan said discussions were taking place with Roxhill and the county council to try to find a way to accommodate both the tunnel and the depot.