A lot of you will already know that HS2 will be passing less than 100m outside our back door and we have 10 years of on and off construction to look forward to. Whilst the ‘experts’ insist on telling us constantly that the noise level will be very low and they will minimise the impact on my family as best they can, the reality is that it’s going to be very intrusive indeed.
We live in the middle of nowhere, tractors ploughing the surrounding fields are extremely noticeable as we live in silence bar the birds singing and the odd car going past. And yes, we’re so incredibly lucky to live where we do but, I personally have spent every single one of the past 31 years working myself into the ground in order to be able to afford to keep it, for what, I now ask?
Was it worth the blood, sweat and tears I’ve put into being able to have the opportunity to live in a peaceful environment? It now all feels as though it’s been in vain as I look forward to spending my older years (a time now when I really appreciate the peace and quiet) with the never ending noise of construction, the dust and loss of trees and environment that we are all so emotionally attached to.
We had a total of six people attend a meeting this morning to discuss where exactly the construction will be and what mitigation can be offered. These people are the messengers and therefore do not deserve to be shot, but, I do resent the placating comments intended to convince us that ‘it won’t be as bad as we’re anticipating’. I have stood next to many, many construction sites over my lifetime and I’m only too well aware of what the noise and visual impact is going to be. Couple that with the fact that over the last seven years we’ve been told that the land they need will be ‘x’ and now we’re being told it’s a lot more than we ever imagined, no wonder my daughter broke down in tears.
On a very personal level it feels as though another part of Paul is being taken away from us as he loved our house so much and fought with me for 20 years to be able to keep it. The ancient Oak tree that we used to sit under and where the children have some incredibly fond memories of their father will be chopped down at the end of the summer. “You have it for the whole of the summer so you can still enjoy it” they told us. Great, we have five more months of enjoying it’s beauty and then a tree that has taken 100’s of years to grow will be destroyed forever, along with dozens of other trees.
Yes, this blog is emotional, I’m feeling very emotional. Something we don’t want and will never use is being forced upon us whether we like it or not, along with thousands of other people the length of the line. None of the engineers from HS2 live near the line so it doesn’t affect them, easy to be blasé when it’s not impacting on your life. For us, it’s the best part of our home being taken away along with so many happy memories, memories that we want to hold on to in order to override the sad ones.
The next few years are going to be extremely tough……