HS2 in Hansard09/07/2013

The Secretary of State for Transport (Mr Patrick
McLoughlin): I can announce to the House today my
decisions regarding safeguarding phase one of HS2—the
route between London and Birmingham. Safeguarding
directions protect the route of HS2 from conflicting
development, and also give many of those who own
property in the safeguarded area the right to serve a
blight notice and request that the Government purchase
their property under the terms of the compensation
Between October 2012 and January 2013my Department
consulted on issuing safeguarding directions for phase one
of HS2. In total, 3,761 responses were submitted during
11WS Written Statements 9 JULY 2013 Written Statements 12WS
the consultation period. Following careful consideration
of those responses, I have today issued, under the Town
and Country Planning (Development Management
Procedure) (England) Order 2010, safeguarding directions
to local planning authorities (LPAs) along most of the
route of phase one of HS2.
LPAs to whom safeguarding directions apply are
required to consult the named authority—in this case
High Speed Two (HS2) Limited—on undetermined
planning applications in respect of land that is within
the safeguarded area. If a LPA is minded to grant
planning permission otherwise than to give effect to
HS2 Ltd’s comments then the planning application is
referred to the Secretary of State for Transport who is
able to direct a final decision on the planning application.
The purpose of safeguarding is not to prevent development
along the route of HS2, but to ensure that any development
that does take place is consistent with our plans for
the railway.
Safeguarding is also a trigger for statutory blight
procedures under the Town and Country Planning Act
1990. Owner-occupiers of properties within the safeguarded
area who want to move may now apply to sell their
property to the Government by serving a blight notice.
If they meet the relevant criteria they can expect to
receive the unblighted open market value of their
home, a home loss payment of 10% of the value of their
home—up to £47,000—and reasonable moving costs.
We do not expect that all properties within the safeguarded
area will be required for the railway. Compulsory purchase
powers to acquire properties needed for the railway will
be set out in the hybrid Bill and can not be exercised
until that Bill has Royal Assent.
Information on compensation specifically aimed at
those who own property within areas safeguarded for
HS2, including application forms, is available at, http://
www.hs2.org.uk/ or by phoning the HS2 Ltd enquiries
line on 020 7944 4908.
I have placed a summary of the responses to the
safeguarding consultation in the Libraries of both Houses,
and am publishing a command paper detailing the
Government response to the consultation on safeguarding
HS2. Both are available at http://www.hs2.org.uk/
It should be noted that sections of the HS2 route in
both Bromford and Ealing have not yet been safeguarded,
pending a decision on whether there should be bored
tunnels in these locations. These proposed design
changes are the subject of a consultation launched in
May 2013. I expect to announce my final decisions later
this year.
Without HS2, key rail routes connecting London, the
midlands and the north will soon be overwhelmed. HS2
will link eight of Britain’s 10 largest cities, serving one
in five of the UK population. But the Government have
always recognised the impact of HS2 on those living
along the line of route. Issuing safeguarding directions
brings certainty to many owner-occupiers living in the
safeguarded area who can now apply to have their
homes bought. I can assure the House that we will seek
to process blight notices swiftly so that those who
qualify can move as quickly as possible.