Leafy Staffordshire villages become abandoned ‘ghost towns’ as locals lament huge waste of taxpayer cash

Leafy Staffordshire villages become abandoned ‘ghost towns’ as locals lament huge waste of taxpayer cash

WATCH HERE: GB News' Jack Carson heads to one of the 'ghost towns' devastated by HS2

GB News
Jack Carson

By Jack Carson


Published: 02/02/2024

- 12:40

Updated: 02/02/2024

- 12:44

All the homes were sold voluntarily

Dozens of homes in leafy Staffordshire villages remain abandoned after being bought to make way for the second leg of HS2.

Now, residents in Whitmore and Madeley are campaigning for the homes to be sold.


Around 50 houses from the area were purchased by HS2 to make way for the second part of the high-speed railway from Birmingham to Manchester.

In the months and years since, millions of pounds worth of property bought with taxpayer’s money is empty.

\u200bStaffordshire home left abandoned after HS2 axed

Home left abandoned after HS2 axed

GB News

Churchyard in Whitmore

Millions of pounds worth of property bought with taxpayer’s money is empty

GB News

HS2 say 79 per cent of lettable residential and agricultural properties in their portfolio are currently let.

A spokesperson for the project told GB News others are either being refurbished, on the market, held for construction or are not financially viable to bring up to a lettable standard.

The decision by Rishi Sunak last year to scrap the Birmingham to Manchester leg of the project almost made West Midlands Mayor, Andy Street, quit the Conservatives.

However in Whitmore, residents see the move as a chance to rebuild their community.

LATEST DEVELOPMENTS:
\u200bHS2 was axed by Rishi Sunak last year

HS2 was axed by Rishi Sunak last year

GB News

A protester said 'cannabis farms and squatters have come here'

A protester said 'cannabis farms and squatters have come here'

GB News

Deborah Mallender has campaigned against HS2 in the village for a number of years and told GB News about the “problems” it’s caused.

She said: “They’ve caused a lot of problems for people. People have been forced out of their homes when they didn’t want to go and some of these people have died shortly afterwards.

“Cannabis farms and squatters have come here and none of that is good for the area, none of it looks good or sounds good.

“We just can’t understand how on earth that could have happened when HS2 people were supposed to be looking after them!”

\u200bLocked gate in Whitmore

Locked gate in Whitmore

GB News

The Government are reported to be developing a programme for selling land acquired for HS2 that is no longer needed, but with no specific timescale, Deborah worries when the village will be able to return to normal.

She said: “People are thinking ‘why haven’t they been sold?’. This is a community that should be up thriving.

“Families should be here, going to the local schools and involving themselves in local community projects of one sort or another, but where are they? Where are the families? Why aren’t these houses up for sale?”

In response to the concerns raised, an HS2 spokesperson told GB News: “All homes acquired for the HS2 project in Madeley and Whitmore Heath were sold voluntarily – that is without using any compulsory purchase powers.


Whitmore village

Around 50 homes in Whitmore are lying abandoned

GB News

“The allegation that anyone was forced out of their home is completely incorrect.”

They added: “Since 2019, three properties sold to the HS2 programme and let on the private rental market to help recoup costs to the taxpayer were targeted by cannabis growers.

“In all cases, the police took action after neighbours and an electricity supplier reported suspicious activity at the properties.

“HS2 takes the safety and security of the public and everyone involved with the project extremely seriously.”

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