Two homes to be demolished due to railway landslip

Two homes next to a landslip-hit railway line in West Yorkshire will have to be demolished after being deemed at risk of collapse, Network Rail has said.

The properties, in Baildon, had been affected by the same movement of land which had also led to the closure of the nearby railway line to trains since early February.

Network Rail said wet weather in recent weeks had made the situation worse and the homes were now structurally unsafe.

Jason Hamilton, the organisation's route director, said "every effort" had been made to save the homes, but all alternative solutions had now been ruled out.

A landslip next to a railway line in Baildon
The line will not now reopen until the summer, according to Network Rail

Speaking to BBC Look North, Mr Hamilton said: "Regrettably, after a number of weeks of looking at an extensive number of options, due to the complex nature of the site and the critical need to reopen the railway line, we need to use our statutory powers to allow us to safely resume repairs to this site.

"That will mean safely removing the properties."

Mr Hamilton said it was "a very unusual situation and a sensitive situation".

"We've taken full consideration of that as we've worked through a wide range of options, which we've now unfortunately exhausted," he added.

Network Rail "deeply sympathised" with the homeowners affected and the organisation would continue to make "every effort to look after their interests", he said.

Margaret Dugdale, Baildon
Margaret Dugdale said the news had come as a "terrible shock" to those affected

Residents in the area said the affected homeowners were "devastated".

Margaret Dugdale said: "It's a community here. Those neighbours have been here for 38 and 15 years respectively.

"Everyone is really upset. To have this happening to you with virtually no notice, it's a terrible shock."

Network Rail said the nearby railway line, which runs between Bradford Forster Square and Ilkley, was now expected to be shut until approximately the end of June.

The closure of the line has affected passengers using stations including Shipley, Guiseley and Burley-in-Wharfedale.

The line had initially been expected to be closed for around six weeks, before complications disrupted the process and delayed its reopening.

Services between Ilkley and Leeds remain unaffected by the disruption.

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