Cheryl Gillan defends selling Amersham home near HS2 rail route

Cheryl Gillan Cheryl Gillan has previously opposed the HS2 plan

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Labour has criticised Welsh Secretary Cheryl Gillan for selling her home close to the planned High Speed 2 rail route.

The sale went through two months before the UK government approved the project.

Mrs Gillan sold the 17th Century terraced house in Amersham, Buckinghamshire, in November for £320,000.

Her spokesman said the house had been on the market since June 2010 and went for 20% under the original price.

It is about 500 yards from the route of the London to Birmingham section of HS2, which was given the green light last week by Transport Secretary Justine Greening.

Opposition

Mrs Gillan has previously threatened to resign over HS2 with opponents in her Chesham and Amersham constituency saying it will blight the area.

Last week she said "good progress" had been made in mitigating the impact of the new line with tunnels.

A spokesman said she sold the house because neither Mrs Gillan, who has mobility problems after an illness in 2006, nor her 84-year-old husband were able to use the stairs.

"It had nothing whatsoever to do with HS2," he said.

A route for a line between London and Birmingham was recommended by the previous Labour government in March 2010.

The current UK government made changes to the route after protests about its impact and held a public consultation about the line last year.

Shadow Cabinet Office minister Jon Trickett wrote to Prime Minister David Cameron urging him to investigate whether there had been any breach of the ministerial code, which conflict between public duty and private interests.

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