Full steam ahead for HS2 compensation schemes

Early April 2014 saw the much awaited publication by the Department for Transport (DfT) of its proposed compensation schemes for those affected by Phase 1 of the High Speed 2 (HS2) high-speed rail link, extending from London to the West Midlands. This was issued following extensive consultation, including a secondary consultation running from September to December 2013, carried out following a High Court ruling and judicial review challenges to HS2.

For eligible ‘owner-occupiers’ with properties within the ‘surface safeguarded area’ (SSA), that is generally land within 60m of the proposed line, an express purchase scheme will operate. Where more than 25 per cent of the property is within the SSA, the owner-occupier will be entitled to: sell their property to the government at the full unblighted value — so as if HS2 did not exist; a home loss payment equal to 10 per cent of the property’s open market value — with minimum and maximum amounts of £4,700 and £47,000 respectively; and reasonable moving costs, including surveyors’ fees, legal fees and stamp duty land tax on a replacement property of similar value.

The government’s offer to buy must be accepted within three years of the relevant blight notice…

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