Chipping Warden wins lengthy legal fight with HS2

A Chipping Warden woman has overcome triple heartache to move into a new house after being threatened with homelessness by the construction of HS2.

Thursday, 19th December 2019, 12:41 pm
Updated Thursday, 19th December 2019, 3:09 pm
Opposition to the project has been widespread
Opposition to the project has been widespread

The resident, who wishes to remain anonymous following a torrid legal battle, faced being made homeless due to her smallholding being in the path of HS2, but has now secured a place to live after property consultancy Fisher German fought the decision over the course of six years.

The smallholding, which was rented by the woman’s husband, was in the path of the planned HS2 route and the company offered compensation instead of a replacement home.

The couple hired Fisher German, who negotiate on property rights, to resolve the issue and to prevent them being made homeless.

Jonathan Perks

However, in 2017, her husband died and although she was entitled to inherit his tenancy under law, that right was challenged by her landlord and the case was taken to tribunal.

By this time, Fisher German had convinced HS2 to offer her a replacement home – but only if she was to inherit the tenancy on her old property meaning that winning the case was

crucial to getting her a new home.

At the tribunal, the judge ruled in favour of Fisher German’s client who has now found a new home.

Jonathan Perks, associate director at Fisher German, who liaised directly with the woman throughout the whole process, said: “We were able to prepare a comprehensive report ahead of the tribunal which highlighted the viability of the tenancy – which is key to allowing the tenancy to be passed on when the original tenant dies.

“Winning the tribunal for our client was so important. After we managed to convince HS2 to offer her a replacement home – a massive victory in itself - she would only be able to claim it if the judge ruled in her favour.

“The case was rather complex and involved quite niche areas of case law, and the judge’s final decision was close.

“But the judge remarked about the clarity of our evidence, which helped swing things towards our client. Having a well-prepared and presented case can make all the difference in tribunals like these.

“We’re absolutely delighted with the ruling, as it means our client will be able to move into new home with minimal costs involved. There was a real chance she could have been

made homeless, but our strong evidence-gathering on her behalf won the day.”

Michael Johnstone, of Loxley Solicitors, also acted on behalf of Fisher German’s client at the tribunal.