THE 18th century country mansion Whatcroft Hall will not be touched by HS2, despite the scheme paying comedian John Bishop £6.8 million for the listed building.

Mr Bishop, 52, has sold his home of eight years to the controversial £55 billion High Speed Rail scheme, but HS2 says the acquisition does not mean that the country home will be flattened to make way for the rail line.

The scheme, which one of Britain’s biggest infrastructure projects, will cut journey times from London to Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds. Phase 2b of the rail line will go from Crewe to Manchester, dissecting a large part of mid Cheshire.

With the route planned to go within 150 metres of the Historic England Grade II Listed Building, which has been renovated by Mr Bishop since he bought it in 2011, the TV comic has been publicly critical of the scheme.

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The former Winsford schoolboy tweeted in 2016: "Anyone looking at the details sees how flawed it is, including every independent review."

He also agreed with Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg after the politician criticised the project on BBC One's Question Time, tweeting: "I can't argue with his assessment of HS2 'a complete waste of money that should be scrapped’."

But despite Mr Bishop claiming that HS2 is a ‘waste of money’, he has now sold his home to the project, making a £4.5 million profit.

A spokesman for Mr Bishop said: "John Bishop maintains his opposition to HS2. He is unhappy, like many others affected by the proximity of the proposed line, that he was left with no choice but to sell his family home to HS2.

"The proposed line had rendered it unsellable on the open market - thus destroying all he and his family had worked for."

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It is the fact that Mr Bishop and his family argued that the project rendered their home ‘unsellable’, that put an obligation upon HS2 to buy the property.

A HS2 spokesman told the Guardian that the sale was brought about under the ‘need to sell’ scheme, and was not identified by HS2 as a property it would need to purchase to make way for the rail line.

Under this scheme, homeowners can make a case to the Government that the HS2 route has given them a ‘compelling reason to sell’, and if agreed, the Government will have to buy the property for the market value.

A spokesman for HS2, which has spent hundreds of millions buying affected properties, said: "We have to buy land to build HS2, as well as properties impacted by the project, and we have to pay the owners what it's worth.

"Some properties cost more than others, but in each case we are paying a price that's fair to both homeowners and taxpayers.

"We have the budget to do this, and we are within that budget."

Whatcroft Hall was built in the late 18th century and was given Grade II listed status in 1953.