The scaling back of HS2 in the north of England, contained in the government's new Integrated Rail Plan, means hundreds of homes are lying empty and being blighted.
The government’s announcement that its £96 billion rail package would see some existing lines upgraded rather than high-speed track built, means homes located on the now-abandoned stretch will not be demolished.
However, the properties cannot be sold off as ministers are reported to have reserved the right to revive the original route – with no cut-off date.
There were some 455 homes purchased by taxpayers' money along the HS2 eastern leg which would have linked Birmingham with Leeds. The bulk of the homes are reported to be on that specific part scrapped by the government.
Tory MP Greg Smith, who sits on the Commons transport committee, has told the Daily Mail: “It's horrendous. I think there was a genuine change of heart from the government about the eastern leg. But it's disgraceful people have been made to feel that they have to move out... before a project is 100 per cent signed off.”
The Mail gives extensive coverage to the blight issue, and case studies of homeowners affected for some years by HS2 - and now affected by the scaling back of the project as well. You can see the Mail story here.
Meanwhile the government’s change of mind has also been criticised by Propertymark’s policy officer, Eleanor Bateman.
"The UK government's Integrated Rail Plan is welcome but falls short of what is needed to encourage economic growth and boost geographical mobility of labour to ensure that the property market is affordable” she says.
"A significant proportion of the £96 billion investment announced has already been promised, and previous assurances that both HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail would be fully rolled out appear to have been disregarded" she says.
"The latest Office for National Statistics House Price and Private Housing Rental indices show a sustained increase in the average cost of homes throughout the UK, including within the Midlands and North of England. These homes will be increasingly unaffordable unless the UK government recognises that mechanisms to facilitate economic prosperity are needed.
"If the UK government is serious about levelling up and achieving Net Zero by 2050, meaningful investment in public transport to cut carbon emissions, promote connectivity and support the housing market is necessary."