HS2 Love It Or Hate It It Is Coming
History of the Scheme
In 2009, a report was prepared on behalf of the Government in respect of the potential for high speed rail services between London and Scotland. The report indicated that there was a need for such a service and provided a detailed route for the line.
Following the change of Government in 2010, the new Secretary of State announced a ‘preferred route on 20 December 2010, following which the Government launched a public consultation into both the high speed rail strategy and the proposed route.
In January 2012, after the public consultation period ended, the Government announced it would be proceeding with the new high speed rail link between London and the West Midlands.
Overview of the Scheme
Given the size of the undertaking, the Government has decided to undertake the work involved in two Phases. Phase One will run from London to Birmingham and Phase 2 will then continue from Birmingham to Crewe.
The idea is to reduce the travel time from Birmingham to London to 49 minutes in Phase 1 and then Phase 2 is intended to reduce the travel time from Glasgow and Edinburgh to London.
How does this affect properties in areas close to the route?
At present, the scheme does not have a full Royal Assent, meaning that it is not yet been made part of our laws. Once it has received Royal Assent, it will be considered to be an Act of Parliament and the Act will then be able to grant planning permission for the works and give compulsory purchase powers to Local Authorities and HS2 Limited (meaning the Local Authority or Central Government can insist that a property be sold to them), in order for the construction of the HS2 rail route.
It is likely that the majority of the land affected will be bought after the Royal Assent is granted but there are options available for some owners who want to sell before the Royal Assent is granted.
Properties most affected by the HS2 route are located in what is to be known as a safeguarding area.
If your property is within this area, compensation may be available to you, subject to it being eligible under the criteria set out by the Government. Details of the criteria can be found here.
One of the main criteria for a property to be eligible under the scheme is that you have tried to sell the property unsuccessfully due to it being within the safeguarding area. This means that you have made ‘reasonable endeavours’ to sell the property on the open market and you will need to be able to provide evidence of this.
Once you are able to establish that the property is within the safeguarding area, you can look to apply for compensation under one of the schemes offered by the Government.
The Schemes are as follows:
• Express Purchase Scheme
• Exceptional Hardship Scheme
• Need to Sell Scheme
• Cash Offer or Voluntary Payment Scheme
• Homeowner Payment Scheme
• Rent Back Scheme
What compensation is available?
As is normal with all compensation, there are levels to what is available to each home owner. This is due to the fact that it will vary due to individual circumstances and the type of property involved.
However, there are four main categories under which the compensation will be paid and these are common across the different types of schemes available under which you can apply.
These include the value of the land taken, meaning the open market value of the property, should the HS2 Scheme not be in place, compensation for the reduction in the value of a property due to the proximity of the HS2 route and compensation for fees payable to solicitors and surveyors in respect of the acquisition of the land.
If you have any concerns as to the impact the HS2 route may have on your property or require advice in relation to the compensation available, Talk to Tollers on 01536 276727.