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  1. ITV Report

Birmingham scrap metal dealers saved from HS2 closure threat

A 70-year-old Birmingham scrap metal business has been saved Credit: ITV News Central

H.W. Taroni (Metals) Ltd has been a family-run firm for three generations but the high-speed rail line from Birmingham to London will run right across their land.

HS2 compulsorily purchased the site and became the legal owner at the end of last month.

The Taroni family claim the rail company owes them £4.5million in compensation, which it had refused to pay until the business moved out.

The family had bought a new site nearby by re-mortgaging their homes and cashing in pension funds but needed £750,000 of their compensation to complete the move, and vowed to stay put until HS2 paid up - so it was stalemate.

Protest outside HS2’s Birmingham headquarters last week Credit: ITV News Central

Following a noisy protest outside HS2’s Birmingham headquarters last week, organised by the Taroni family and attended by other aggrieved businesses who claim they’re also owed compensation, the rail company met with the Taronis’ business agents.

Now, a deal has been struck to allow the business to carry on trading but to relocate by the middle of January.

In return, HS2 has paid the Taroni family £750,000 and will share access to the site, treating them as a so-called ‘tolerated trespasser’.

Managing Director, Richard Taroni Credit: ITV News Central

Managing Director, Richard Taroni, said: “It's been a long and painful road and there's still a long way to go.

"Yes, it's encouraging to have finally reached a working agreement but, to be very, very clear, the onus remains on HS2 to see this through and be true to their word.

They still owe us £4.5 million in compensation and we won't be forgetting that.”

“It's been a long and painful road and there's still a long way to go."

– Richard Taroni
HS2 say they need immediate access to the site Credit: HS2 Ltd.

A spokesperson for HS2 said: “We need access immediately to continue works on the new railway and have made an offer to the business via their agents for them to continue operation while also enabling HS2 to access the site.”

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