The 'eerie' village on axed HS2 line that's become a ghost town with multi million-pound mansions lying empty
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This is a peak inside the 'eerie' millionaire's row on the proposed HS2 line where mansions lie empty after homeowners sold up - for nothing.
Whitmore Heath in Staffordshire has become a ghost town after HS2 purchased 35 properties in the rural hamlet - where the average property price was £600,000.
The homes were compulsorily purchased by the Government, as the train line was due to pass underneath several multi million-pound mansions in the area. However, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak recently announced at the Conservative Party conference that the West Midlands to Manchester line would be scrapped. Because people have moved out, remaining residents say the the empty properties have caused a range of issues - and revealed squatters now live in the houses.
Edward Cavenagh-Mainwairing, 61, was born in the village and is the 33rd generation of his family to live there. He said that there is no longer a sense of community in the area - and claimed three properties are now used as cannabis farms.
Mr Cavenagh-Mainwairing said: "When you walk around the area, it's a bit sad to see it all locked up and three houses are now used for cannabis.
"There was a sense of community, but now there isn't. HS2 has strengthened us all together in a way - because we are all suffering from it. But hearing the news about it being scrapped made me feel numb, it's still not a victory because it's confirmation that it was a really bad decision.
"It should have been stopped earlier - a lot of people's lives should have not been upset to the degree it has been."
One security guard, who asked to remain anonymous, said they had been hired to guard the house as squatters have previously lived in the property.
They even added that they've seen cults 'trying to break in' to the house, and that the religious group even tried to arrest the security guards.
They said: "We've had cults trying to break in. They would even try and arrest you."
However, some residents actually like living in the village and think more people will move back to hte area.
Chris Shemilt, 65, moved to the area around five years ago with his wife, but is in the process of moving out of the village. However, he's said he 'doesn't see anything wrong' with the area and thinks the houses that were bought by the government, will go back on the market.
Chris said: "I don't see anything wrong with it myself. I think people will move back to the area, I think a lot of them were bought by the government - who bribed people to sell them. I suspect they will go back on the market."
Chris added that he believes the costs of HS2 were 'way too high' for it to have ever been done.
The financial advisor said: "As far as I'm concerned, the costs were way too high for them to do it. Quite simply - all they've got to do is run the train to Birmingham on the same line they've already got - which is quite a good line anyway. If they slightly improve that line, then they can go straight through to Manchester."