Homeowners on HS2 line to get better deal

Robyn Hall

September 17, 2013

The government has proposed an express purchase scheme to give certainty to homeowners living 60 metres either side of the line that the government will buy their homes at the full un-blighted value plus compensation for moving, a hardship scheme and a purchase and rent back option.

The previous proposals only went as far as the agreeing to purchase homes affected by the line at a 100% of their un-blighted value.

Simon Burns, minister for transport, said: HS2 is “vital” to help rebalance the economy and generate growth.

“It will free up vital space on our railways for passengers and freight, generate hundreds of thousands of jobs and deliver better connections between our towns and cities.

“However we will do everything possible to minimise the effect on those living on the route. We are committed to fairly compensating those who are affected and I want to hear views on the generous and comprehensive measures we have set out.”

The government is consulting on two additional potential options which would provide further assistance in rural areas.

Property bonds would provide a transferable guarantee that the government would act as the buyer of last resort for those living close to the route

And a voluntary purchase scheme would be offered for owner-occupied properties within 120 metres of the route.

Burns said: “This is a complex area which we are determined to get right. That is why we pledged to look again at how to help property owners including consulting on a property bond and that is exactly what we have done.”

To support the consultation a series of information events for local communities will be held along the line of the HS2 phase one route from London to Birmingham.

The previous consultation on measures to assist and compensate property owners took place from October 2012 to January 2013.

The government is now re-consulting on most elements of that consultation as well as additional measures.

The current consultation will close on 4 December and final schemes are expected to come into operation by next summer.

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