Firstly, sorry to those who want to know about the horses and not about HS2 - The horses are absolutely fine! However, I think it is really important to highlight exactly how HS2 work for the benefit of those poor people who are next in line for Phase 2. It will be hell for them, but if they are armed with knowledge then they will know what to expect and hopefully something can be done.
If you remember in a previous post I said that we were on the way to ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution) as everything was in line apart from a Pre-action contract which HS2 was going to draw up (I'm baffled as to why they should do this and not us) Anyway, we were forced into moving our huts because of the threat of eviction, and clear the site on the provision that they did not slow ADR down. This they agreed to, so we kept our part of the bargain. After three weeks of badgering by our solicitor we have just received their 'contract' which is not at all what was agreed and could take years as there is no end date. The ironic part of it is that they are now saying that two valuers (one from each side) could have an 'onsite inspection' so that they can value our businesses. So, they make us pull our business apart and then they decide to value it, when it is no longer there?? What makes it worse is that they totally refused to have an onsite inspection when they were valuing it in the first place. The businesses have now been valued five times. Twice by our independent valuers twice by HS2 valuers (who did not visit the site) and once by a forensic valuer. We have heard from other victims of HS2 where they have done exactly the same with their properties. They have refused to acknowledge the first valuation, possessed the property and then had it valued again after it has fallen into disrepair or been taken over by squatters. It is disgraceful, corrupt behaviour but sadly it was exactly what we were expecting.
Just to make this a balanced report - They have now actually paid a token amount for loss of business (which they said they would pay last September) It isn't much but it is better than nothing and a step in the right direction.
However, if they want us to leave by November 30th then why on earth are they so dogged in slowing things down? Is it just to continue their cruel spiteful behaviour, or to try and starve us out so that we are forced into accepting their original pitiful offer? I'm not sure but either way it is puzzling as you would think that they would be happy to be rid of us!