Join the Legal Fight to Hold the Government & HS2 to Account

by Justine & Trevor Palin

Join the Legal Fight to Hold the Government & HS2 to Account

by Justine & Trevor Palin
Justine & Trevor Palin
Case Owner
We are the Palins, an ordinary, hard working family, with two kids and a dog, and we have been battling with HS2 since 2013 to agree a fair, open market price for our home.
on 01st March 2019
pledged of £15,000 stretch target from 100 pledges
Justine & Trevor Palin
Case Owner
We are the Palins, an ordinary, hard working family, with two kids and a dog, and we have been battling with HS2 since 2013 to agree a fair, open market price for our home.

Latest: Nov. 28, 2019


It's taken a few weeks since HS2ltd finally settled on the house. Getting screwed is an underestimate but we did not want to carry on the existence of our lives being governed by these people. We…

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We are the Palins, an ordinary, hard-working family, with two kids and a dog, and we have been battling with HS2 since 2013 to agree a fair, open market price for our home.

In 2012 we were planning to sell our house, but then in 2013 the Government announced plans for HS2 and since then our lives have never been the same.

When HS2 was first announced the government/HS2 made a public commitment to pay the market value for blighted properties — residential and business — that would be directly impacted by the new high-speed line.

Seven years later and we are still waiting for HS2 to agree to pay the true market value of our home, which is eligible to be compulsory purchased because the route of the Manchester spur goes straight through our kitchen.

Current route map 2019

The initial route for Phase 2B of HS2 took the line within 100 metres of our house, which for obvious reasons rendered the house unsellable, but when the route was revised — requiring our home to be demolished — the Secretary of State for Transport (by the use of his statutory powers) made himself the only viable purchaser.

No one will buy a condemned house which is why we believe that the Rt. Hon. Chris Grayling MP is under a moral and legal duty to pay a fair and reasonable open market price, disregarding the flawed Hs2 scheme, as quickly as possible.

Our family is stuck in limbo because we can't remortgage the house (no lender will lend on such a property), we can't sell it on the open market and out of principle, if we wanted to get the house extended or make any alterations to it (which we wouldn’t do because the house is condemned), we would have to get permission from him to do that.

He has in effect made himself the landlord and we are the tenants (and yet we still own the house and we’re still paying the mortgage).

Our life has been on hold since 2013, because for seven long years we have been all but consumed by three characters: ‘HS2’.


We have gone through every option that HS2 offered to try and get the house sold and we are still no further forward.

The Exceptional Hardship Scheme, which we applied for in 2016, was rejected by HS2 (because we hadn't actively put the house on the market as we had been advised, and have notice of this, that because of the extreme blight to the property and the local area we would not be able to hope for a sale) we have been in the local news and we've lobbied our MPs. 

In 2017 after our 'blight notice' was accepted by the government, we were put on the Express Purchase Scheme, which is usually a 6-9 month process.

In May 2018 we finally received a written valuation of our home, which was significantly lower than the valuation that was provided by a local estate — we naturally rejected HS2’s offer.

Ironically, we have a written open market valuation on our property from 2012/2013, but that is repeatedly ignored!

This is not just about the value of our home

Since our first dealings with HS2 we have been treated appallingly and this has had a major impact on our lives and that of our children’s.

Ours is just one of many properties along the high speed route that is due for compensation and it is a damning indictment on HS2’s approach to compensating blighted properties that it has taken seven years to achieve nothing but stress, tears and loss of income.

To put this situation into perspective, in the Greater Manchester and Cheshire area (where we live) there are approximately 270,000 residents affected by HS2, which makes this a significant public interest and a national disgrace.

HS2 and its agents have run roughshod over our lives — and many other lives — and it is totally unacceptable that a £60bn government-backed scheme should be allowed to operate in an environment in which they make the rules and dictate the terms on which compensation claims are evaluated. No-one seems to be overseeing the operations of what is one of the biggest infrastructure schemes in Europe.

Our Case

HS2 has demonstrated its unwillingness to make a reasonable open market offer for our home and so we are left with no choice but to bring a legal case against the Government/HS2.

Not only do we want to hold them to account for their unscrupulous actions — our appalling treatment, the length of time it has taken to get nowhere and the wilful undervaluation of our home — we want to help other people whose properties have been similarly undervalued and who have also suffered HS2’s dismissive and arrogant attitude.

As desperate as we are to have our case resolved and get our lives back on track, we are resolved to help and advise other families and business owners as best as we can, who have been similarly treated.

Please help us to do this.  

Our options now

Our options now are limited to going down the legal route, as HS2 has recently rejected option of resolution of our case through Early Neutral Evaluation.

 We need to get funds in to kick start:

  • The Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) process, a legal process that will challenge HS2 and will cost about £8,000.
  • ADR offered by HS2 allows us to choose an 'independent' company from their panel of approved RICS surveyors, but we would prefer to use a company that is not an ‘approved’ company of surveyors and one that will act impartially. Depending on the outcome of this stage we would then go to a full land tribunal, which will cost in excess of £15,000.

To date we have incurred legal costs of £12,000 and this excludes the costs of a barrister.

We now need help to contribute to our legal costs to date but more so to start the formal legal process.

We are seeking funds of a minimum of £5,000, which will support us to do this and take forward the next phase of our case (ADR).

HS2, and in effect the government, has forced our hand and has placed us in this horrendous position.  

Such costs are prohibitive for most people and we believe that HS2 rely on the fact that the majority of injured parties — those with blighted properties — either drop their cases or accept whatever HS2’s surveyors recommend unchallenged.

With your support we hope to be able to help as many people as possible to challenge HS2’s pitiful valuations and to see that justice is done.

We want to move on with our lives by this summer, so please help us to bring seven tortuous years to an end, so that we can get back to being a normal family and doing what we should have been doing for far too long.

 The end of the line for HS2?

The sad reality is that over the last 7 years we have suffered from untold stress and anxiety, and this has, at times, affected our ability to work. So, we can't afford to do this alone, but this isn't just about our family, this about making a stand for everybody else that has been, or will be, affected by HS2.

This is now of significant public interest

How to help us & others

Your donation will help us to legally challenge HS2 and to establish a legal and moral precedent that will help those who are similarly suffering at the hands of HS2.

Any amount will be grateful received and you can rest assured that every penny will go to help us to right these significant wrongs. 

If we can attract more funds, than the minimum amount that we are seeking then, then we are seeking to establish ‘a wider pot of fighting funds’ to develop a network of legal resources and other professional advice that others can tap into.

Please pledge and share our campaign and this link widely with your friends/family/colleagues.

In return:

1. We will willingly give appropriate advice and guidance, to the best of our knowledge regarding, the case and the implications in connection with this.

2. Create a platform for others to join us in going forward and bringing justice to those who have been affected by HS2.

3. Build a fund to help others to find their way off HS2’s merry-go-round and bring to an end this despicable treatment of thousands of people like ourselves.

We thank you greatly for taking the time to read our case.

Trevor & Justine Palin (Kids and Monty the Dog)

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Update 11

Justine & Trevor Palin

Nov. 28, 2019


It's taken a few weeks since HS2ltd finally settled on the house. Getting screwed is an underestimate but we did not want to carry on the existence of our lives being governed by these people. We are grateful, so much to all who helped us continue through this period in our lives and truly wish that you understand that my family and I are forever grateful for the support that we have received.

If we could give any of you some final advice and for what it's worth, read the small print before you decide upon legal advice and if paying for it then make sure you get the answers you want, that the advice is relevant and you don't waste time,  it's your money. 

Be prepared to go through the worst  stuff 'Andy' crawled through. 

Finally stay strong. All these people will be out of your life and you will have gained immense insight into a world of ego's, back biting, lying and exhaustive emails. 

We would also like to say a huge thank you to Joe Haigh who for years has helped us  as a friend and advised on legals that were presented to us.

We will get on with our live now and thank you all. 

Please do not donate any funds to this case or to any relevant legal professional associated with this case as we will be closing it, many many thanks again.

We thank you all.

Trevor and Justine, kids and dog.

Update 10

Justine & Trevor Palin

Oct. 5, 2019

Mitigation Litigation Frustration

I would like to report regarding the meeting at Snowhill as a bit of a disappointment.

Considering that the Head Man had not even reviewed the evidence the meeting was cut short. More time and more expenses at our cost.

We are awaiting ‘again’for some communication regarding a FINAL offer!!

It important to point out that much of the evidence put forward, comparable properties and associated offers and the fact that HS2ltd have purchased our one and only neighbour seems to be as invisible to them as a gossamer thread.

We have serious concerns as to how this department is being run and the flaws in the process to date.

We await a response.

Update 9

Justine & Trevor Palin

Sept. 25, 2019

HS2'ltd and Legal Team Meet/ Snowhill/TV Drama in the pipeline

Tomorrow our legal representation will finally sit with those at HS2ltd, in charge of the purchase of our property on behalf of the SOT for Transport, and seek and end to a personal and extremely protracted situation. 

A meeting will be held at Snowhill, HS2ltd HQ tomorrow from late morning. A witness statement (unfortunately we can not share this at this point) has been handed over to certain individuals at HS2 relating to the details of the last eight years. A statement that highlights every single key piece of evidence that we have collected and will be used at tribunal, actual prep for such a hearing has been prepared and sits ready. We personally can do no more at this stage than that of what we have done but have every faith in our legal team.

This will not be an ordinary meeting, this will be a meeting that will hopefully bring to an end almost 'EIGHT YEARS' of selling a three bedroom cottage in greenbelt for a regular market valuation as if not effected by HS2's proposed scheme. 

Breakdowns and financial constraints have not held us back in pushing forward for fairness from this Government and HS2'ltd. We have never and will never lie down and accept the treatment to ourselves and others that we have been put through and continue to do so.

We ask for fairness, compassion and reasonable states of mind to bring to a conclusion the nightmare that has 'blighted' our lives, and the lives of our children for all of this time.

We are under no illusions that those at HS2ltd dealing with the case have any real care for our state of mind or for that of our children's future, illusions of this were shattered many may years ago. However, let us hope common sense does prevails as we have asked so many times for it to do so.

We thank all of you out there who are reading this and for the support from the community has given us. 

On a positive note, I've been approached by a certain TV company(can't say at the moment) about dramatising the whole situation! (Maybe Brad and Ange could couple up for this).

Thank you all so much.

Trevor (Brad).

Update 8

Justine & Trevor Palin

Sept. 9, 2019

Case update 8 ( Almost 8 years of Blight!)

In the next 14 days we are hopefully arranging a meeting of legal teams, Keystone and HS2ltd to hopefully bring an end to this torment that was put on our heads in 2013!  Over this period we have personally engaged with HS2 in a respectable and honest manner. We are hopeful that Mr Simon Layland Senior Acquisition Manager at Hs2 will get this sorted out so my family can get back our lives and move on after almost 8 years of intense pressure, both mentally and financially that has been put on us by HS2ltd, and finally have the opportunity to enjoy our children for at least a few years of what is left of their childhood having endured this through most of their young lives”

I've put the above to Mr Layland, Senior Acquisitions Manager at HS2, and hopefully some common sense will prevail within this protracted process that has ripped my family apart.  

We give thanks to the continued support of Ester McVey, Angela and the team at their HQ for all their support over the last few years. To all the supporters of this case, thank you again for your continued interest and financial help.

Trevor Palin

Update 7

Justine & Trevor Palin

July 15, 2019

July.....and counting

Hi all

It has been sometime since we have updated you on our case. Primarily the reason for this has been the impasse, and lack of engagement from Hs2 with respect to our case.  This is really unfortunate.

We had hoped that we would have reached some sort or resolution by the end of this month, but it would seem that this is looking highly unlikely.

We have prepared the following press statement and link which gives a fuller update on our position.[email protected]&a=5PvrFw4gQTCzjaR56PhgaA&f=&t=1

Our only course of action now is to take Hs2 to a Tribunal which costs circa £20,000 to £30,000.   The irony is that any more time on all sides will cost the ‘public purse’ (which is often quoted to us) more money than what the cottage is worth, which is shameful. 

Today we have written to the Residents Commissioner for Hs2 asking for her to look into our case.

We shouldn't have to do all of this. However we are prepared to take this as far as possible to reach a satisfactory resolution.  

We will provide further regular updates over the course of the next few weeks.

In the meantime could we ask that you share this link to our story and also we would be grateful if you are able to pledge again, all amounts are extremely gratefully received.


Justine and Trev

Update 6

Justine & Trevor Palin

March 27, 2019

Campaign Video is Now Live

We've pulled this short film together to highligh the campaign. We wanted to show the wider impact of this project and why many us feel so aggrieved at this process of sincere injustice with no accountability and no empathy for those that HS2 is inflicting unnecessary trauma upon. 

Please share and please donate. We cannot thank you all enough.

Justine  and Trev

Update 5

Justine & Trevor Palin

March 26, 2019

Our meeting with Barry Denyer-Green

In our last update we announced that we had achieved our goal of raising £5,000, which was needed to allow us to present our case to a leading compulsory purchase barrister.

We are now delighted to have been able to meet with Barry Denyer-Green of Falcon Chambers, who confirmed that we have a case against HS2.

We will now be putting together our claim for fair compensation, which will include a true, open market price for our family home, together with ancillary heads of claims and disturbance costs, which will be presented to HS2’s legal team in due course.

At any point during the last seven years we could have accepted HS2’s derisory offers for our property, but we knew in our heart-of-hearts that we had to do the right thing and challenge this injustice.

It has been a mentally-exhausting battle, but given the support we have received over the years and the financial support through CrowdJustice we have been able to pursue HS2 so that we can finally put this sorry saga behind us and move on with our lives.

We would like to reiterate our sincere appreciation for everyone who has contributed to our campaign. We wouldn’t be where we are today without you and we will be eternally grateful for your support.

We are now extending the campaign to £15,000 so that we can maintain a fighting fund to help others whose lives have been similarly blighted by HS2.

We will update you again as soon as we have any news to report.

Thanks again for all of your kind support

Justine & Trevor

Update 4

Justine & Trevor Palin

March 5, 2019

We reached our £5k mark!

Thank you, each and everyone of you for generously donating to our campaign which resulted in us meeting our target.  The messages of support are so encouraging and it takes a special person to donate to a stranger, so thank you so much.

We are meeting with our barrister on Thursday, which is our first meeting with him and his team.  Your donation has enabled us to do this. 

We have had a number of calls and emails from other people in the same predicament as ourselves.  We have put in place a stretch target now of £15k to help us to continue to progress things for ourselves and for those others.

Thank you once again

Justine & Trev 

Update 3

Justine & Trevor Palin

Feb. 18, 2019

Landmark legal case

Great response to our case on Granada news this evening.

Please share this link and thank you for your ongoing support.

Justine & Trev

Update 2

Justine & Trevor Palin

Feb. 17, 2019

Great coverage in the Mail on Sunday

Thank you, everyone, for your generous support and kind words, this is what keeps us going.

Please share the link to our story.  With your help, we can do this.

Justine & Trev

Update 1

Justine & Trevor Palin

Feb. 13, 2019

We've met the Press today!

Thanks so much, everyone for pledging and continuing to share our campaign and support us.

We've met the Press today and hopefully, we will be in one of the Sunday papers this coming Sunday.

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