‘No garden for two years’ as Huddersfield residents claim £10,000 in compensation in garden access row

Residents are in a row with Network Rail over access to their gardens during preparatory work for a massive rail improvement scheme.

Fourteen residents of Glenfield Avenue at Deighton, Huddersfield, have signed a petition asking Network Rail workers to stay out of their gardens unless a £10,000 compensation payment can be agreed.

Network Rail, which owns and manages the rail infrastructure, wants access to the railside gardens to cut back vegetation ahead of a major scheme to update Deighton Station. The gardens are to be cut back and restored once the railway upgrade work is completed, according to householders.

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Resident Terry Binns says residents are not happy as the engineering works are due to continue for around two years and will mean people will not be able to enjoy their gardens. He and others believe that they will not be given fair and just compensation.

Terry, an avid gardener, says he will temporarily lose about a quarter of his garden, which he has spent about 40 years tending to and improving. He says one resident was offered £3,000 in compensation and Terry said it was ‘ridiculous’. He says he works out on £4 a day.

Terry, a retired Yorkshire Water technician, said: “No one has come to us to talk about compensation and there is a rumor going around about an offer of £3,000. No one has come to me and said what it is. I have been talking for a few months at work. – it’s been over two years since we’ve had a garden.

Terry supports the aims of the railway improvement scheme but says his family’s life will be badly affected if he cannot enjoy his garden due to noise and dust during the excavation process.

“It’s a big thing for us to socialize in the garden with our eight children. They play and they like to watch trains go by.” Terry says residents are feeling frustrated by what they see as a lack of communication from Network Rail.

The petition calls on Network Rail to agree £10,000 compensation to each owner and tenant and says: “All owners and tenants agree that none of the gardens will be accessible unless £10,000 is paid to each owner. and a tenant on Glenfield Avenue for a period of two years.”

Network Rail reminded residents that it needs access to gardens to fell trees and if access is refused it can take enforcement action. Following an incident on 30th April, a tree contractor working for Network Rail was turned away from one property in Glenfield Avenue.

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In a letter to residents dated May 10, Network Rail said it understood the contractor had been denied access “on the basis of the money requested by residents of Glennagpool Avenue. The contractors legal right to carry out these works.”

Network Rail is warning residents they could lose money if they stop workers from entering their gardens. The letter added: “If access is blocked again, Network Rail would be forced to exercise its powers under the Order to obtain access by way of enforcement, the cost of which would be deducted from any claim you may have for compensation.”

The following was added to the letter: “These works are a vital part of the Transpennine Roads Upgrade Project and must be allowed to continue without further disruption. As you will know, under the Order, parties to are entitled to compensation if they have a legal interest in the land to compensate the parties for their loss.

“However, this must be witnessed and proven as well as being equal to the loss incurred. We are keen to discuss this with you to arrive at a satisfactory and evidenced compensation figure.”

Gareth Hope, Sponsor of the Transpennine Routes Upgrade, said in a statement YorkshireLive: “Deighton Station is one of many stations along the TransPennine Way to be upgraded over the coming years, including the construction of a fully accessible footbridge with lifts, a drop-off area, longer platforms and two extra tracks, at allowing faster trains to overtake slower ones.

“To facilitate these upgrades, engineers need to strengthen the embankment on each side of the railway, which means that it is necessary for us to access third party land in certain areas. The approvals for this have been agreed through the Huddersfield to Westtown (Dewsbury) Transport. and Works Act Order submitted and approved, before work commenced.

“Communities are at the heart of our upgrades and have played a major role in developing our sustainability strategy. To date, the project has employed over 270 apprentices, provided over 11,000 hours of volunteer work and he touched more than 42,000 local young people along the way.” .

“We are currently working closely with local groups and residents to ensure that any impact from these major upgrades is kept to a minimum.”

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