HS2 in Hansard 3/6/2013

T4. [157186] Mrs Cheryl Gillan (Chesham and Amersham)
(Con): The Government are consulting on the draft
environmental statement for HS2, a project that will
adversely affect local communities along the proposed
route. The Chilterns, a supposedly protected area of
outstanding natural beauty, will be adversely affected,
both in my constituency and, I believe, in yours,
Mr Speaker. Will the Minister therefore outline his
Secretary of State’s strategy for defending those
communities and their local environment, and tell us
what role he will play in the development of the
environmental statement?
Mr Prisk: As I think my right hon. Friend will know,
a consultation is in hand, and this is something that
must be dealt with not only by a single Department but
right across Whitehall. I would certainly welcome any
local comments that she feelswould add to that deliberation.
High Speed 2 Railway Line
Mrs Gillan: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer
what assessment he has made of the National Audit
Office’s report on HS2 and its identification of a £3.3
billion shortfall. [156701]
Danny Alexander: The Department for Transport will
respond to the Public Accounts Committee in the usual
way once the committee has examined the National
Audit Office report.(HMTreasury has made no assessment
of the National Audit Office report.)
VAT: High Speed 2 Railway Line
Mrs Gillan: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer
whether the HS2 project will be subject to VAT; and if
he will make a statement. [156699]
Danny Alexander: HM Revenue and Customs will
determine whether HS2 Ltd can reclaim VAT on relevant
future expenditure in accordance with the usual rules
for VAT recovery.
High Speed 2 Railway Line
Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State
for Transport what recent assessment he has made of
the likely effects of High Speed 2 on fares on other
railway lines. [156744]
Mr Simon Burns: No assumptions have been made
about the likely effects of HS2 on classic fares. The
Economic Case for HS2 assumes that high speed fares
are comparable to classic fares. The Department,working
closely with HS2 Ltd, is considering the potential benefits
that could be secured from more sophisticated pricing
policies across both the HS2 and classic networks.
Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State
for Transport what recent assessment he has made of
the potential effects of High Speed 2 on investment in
areas near the line but not at the nodes. [156745]
Mr Simon Burns: The draft environmental statement
published on 16 May 2013 includes an assessment of
the socio-economic effects of the proposed High Speed
2 scheme. As part of this, the employment opportunities
created by new business opportunities are considered at
a route-wide and sub-regional level.
In addition, HS2 Limited is providing advice to the
Department on the development and investment potential
relating to proposed station sites. How HS2 impacts on
investment in areas away from stations and depots but
near to the line is very difficult to judge and will be
highly specific to local circumstances. The Department
is working with local partners to understand this better
and to ensure that opportunities are fully explored.
Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State
for Transport what steps he is taking to ensure that in
all cases where the price of a house is adversely affected
by High Speed 2 the household concerned is
adequately compensated. [156746]
Mr Simon Burns: For Phase One, we currently have
an Exceptional Hardship Scheme. This is an interim
scheme, currently available to property owners who
have an urgent need to sell but have not been able to,
except at a substantially reduced price, as a direct result
of the announcement of the route.
Property owners who apply and meet the eligibility
criteria can have their property purchased by the
Government at its unaffected realistic open market
value (the value the property would have had in the
current housing market, if the High Speed Rail route
had not been announced). The scheme’s criteria are
available at:
We have proposed that this interim scheme is succeeded
by longer term arrangements for discretionary schemes
to help people along the Phase One route. We will
reconsult later this year on our proposals for those
longer term arrangements.
We consulted on our proposals to issue Safeguarding
Directions for areas along the line of the Phase One
route. That means that any planning applications within
the safeguarded area must be referred to HS2 Ltd as
part of the decision making process. Importantly,
safeguarding also means that those within the safeguarded
area can serve the Government with a ″blight notice″,
asking theGovernment to buy their home for its unblighted
value, plus 10% up to £47,000, and reasonable moving
costs.
For Phase Two, we have also proposed to introduce
an interim Exceptional Hardship Scheme. Consultation
on those proposals closed on 20May 2013. The consultation
document can be found at:
exceptional-hardship-scheme
We propose to replace the Phase Two EHS with
longer term compensation arrangements when route
planning is sufficiently advanced.
Dan Byles: To ask the Secretary of State for
Transport what estimate he has made of the minimum
acceptable distance between the High Speed 2 rail line
and a school. [156936]
Mr Simon Burns: A minimum acceptable distance
between the High Speed 2 rail line and a school has not
been assessed. However, we are aware of the potential
adverse effects a railway can have on a school, especially
noise. Suitable (noise) mitigation measures will be
incorporated for schools located close to the HS2 line as
has been the case with HS1.
Dan Byles: To ask the Secretary of State for
Transport if he will estimate the cost to the economy of
all jobs and businesses directly and indirectly lost as a
result of the construction of High Speed 2. [157028]
971W Written Answers 3 JUNE 2013 Written Answers 972W
Mr Simon Burns: No assessment has been made of
the cost to the economy of all jobs and businesses
directly and indirectly lost as a result of the construction
of High Speed 2.
However, HS2 Ltd estimates suggest that overall the
construction of HS2 will support more than 100,000
jobs. The economic appraisal estimates that HS2 will
deliver net positive benefits to business of £50 billion.
Where businesses are impacted by HS2, HS2 Ltd
have and will continue to work with them to understand
how best to mitigate their concerns.
Lilian Greenwood: To ask the Secretary of State for
Transport (1) what discussions (a) he and (b) his
officials had with Network Rail about the study of the
potential capacity benefits for the existing rail network
arising from High Speed 2; [157413]
(2) what progress he has made towards developing a
strategy for maximising the potential benefits of
released capacity arising from High Speed 2. [157414]
MrSimon Burns: The Department has regular discussions
with Network Rail, including in relation to their study
into potential opportunities for the existing rail network
when HS2 phase 2 is operational. The results of this
study are intended to be published alongside the public
consultation on HS2 phase 2 later this year. This work
follows on from the study published by Network Rail
and Passenger Focus in January 2012 in relation to
released capacity from HS2 phase 1 and will include
consultationwith local, regional and industry stakeholders.
High Speed 2 Railway Line
Jim Dobbin: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet
Office on what date the Major Projects Authority
report into High Speed Rail 2 will be published.
[157304]
Miss Chloe Smith: The Major Projects Authority’s
first annual report has been published and is available
here:
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