HS2 in Hansard 09/04/2014

HS2 (Property Compensation)

The Secretary of State for Transport (Mr Patrick
McLoughlin): I am today announcing to the House the
outcome of the 2013 consultation on property
compensation for the London to west midlands HS2
route (phase 1).
That consultation, which ran from 12 September to
4 December 2013, set out a package of assistance for
owner-occupiers of properties affected by phase 1 of
HS2 that went beyond the legal requirements for
compensation in recognition of the exceptional nature
of the HS2 project.
While elements of today’s decision will be launched
immediately, I want to make sure we get this decision
absolutely right, so I will be asking for further views on
the newer aspects of this package before we finalise it.
The details of the package are as follows:
Express Purchase—This is being launched today and
is for those people living closest to the line, in what is
known as the “surface safeguarded” area. Under this
scheme owner-occupiers may be able to sell their home
to the Government, if they wish to do so at its full
unblighted market value (as it would be if HS2 did not
exist), plus 10% (up to £47,000) and reasonable moving
expenses, including stamp duty.
Voluntary Purchase—For people in rural areas outside
the safeguarding area and up to 120 metres away from
the line. Owner-occupiers in this area may be able to sell
their home to the Government for its full unblighted
value at any time up until a year after the line opens.We
intend for this to be launched later this year.
Need to sell—This scheme does not have a boundary
and is available to owner-occupierswho have a compelling
reason (including job relocation, ill health) to sell their
house but are unable to do so because of HS2. The
Government would pay the full, unblighted value for
these properties.We also intend to launch this later this
year, when it will replace the exceptional hardship scheme
which will continue to operate in the meantime.
All three options will be accompanied by a rent back
option. This is for owner-occupiers who, having sold
their property to Government, would prefer to carry on
living there and may be able to rent it back, subject to
property suitability checks. This will also be implemented
These compensation arrangements incorporate a range
of improvements to our original proposals, taking account
of points made by members of the public, property
experts and others during the consultation. For example,
I have decided that the “need to sell” scheme, as the
name suggests, will require applicants only to show they
have a compelling need to sell, rather than demonstrating
that they would suffer hardship if they could not sell.
In recognition of the exceptional nature of HS2, we
are also considering going further than providing
compensation and will undertake a further limited
consultation on the following proposals:
As an alternative to the voluntary purchase offer, we
are proposing a cash payment of between £30,000 to
£100,000—for owner-occupiers in rural areas outside
the safeguarding area and up to 120 metres away from
the line who do not want to sell their home and move.
Home owner payment—This is proposed to apply to
owner-occupiers between 120 metres and 300 metres
from the route in rural areas. This could enable people
in these areas to share in the benefits of HS2, which will
run near them but will not provide them with a direct
benefit. The details of (amounts and eligibility) any
payments would need to be determined following
19WS Written Statements 9 APRIL 2014 Written Statements 20WS
Initial thinking is that payments could be from £7,500
to £22,500 depending on how near the route the property
is located. This would come into effect following
parliamentary approval of the HS2 route between London
and the west midlands.
These decisions and the forthcoming consultation do
not apply to other proposed HS2 route sections. I
intend to bring forward further proposals for supporting
property owners alongside future decisions on extensions
to the HS2 route.
In addition to these proposals, we need to ensure
residents’ views have an effective way of being heard.
HS2 Ltd will develop a residents’ charter, designed to
help residents know their rights and will appoint an
independent residents’ commissioner who will ensure
that they adhere to the commitments made in the
charter. The charter and commissioner will provide
residents with a voice and representation.
Together, the charter and the commissioner will ensure
that residents are informed of any developments fairly
and efficiently. The charter will contain a number of
principles against which HS2 Ltd will be measured in
their communications with people affected by the
development of the railway.
I have decided not to introduce a “property bond”
which was one of the proposals that was consulted on
in 2013. I appreciate that this will disappoint many who
were advocating such an approach. We studied the idea
very carefully but felt that it was untried, would not
facilitate the smooth operation of a normal property
market and would add to uncertainty rather than
reduce it.
I believe these proposals represent the best possible
balance between properly compensating people affected
by the line and providing value for money for the
taxpayer. The voluntary purchase offer and the need to
sell scheme are intended to be launched later this year,
following the further consultationwhich I aim to commence
shortly and intend to conclude before the end of the
A full description of these proposals is in today’s
Command Paper, “Property Compensation Consultation
2013 for the London-West Midlands HS2 route: Decision
Document”. I have published this report on: http://www.gov.uk
and provided copies to the Libraries of both Houses.


High Speed 2 Railway Line

Mrs Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport
which High Speed 2 station designs will include international
arrivals and departures. [195332]
Mr Goodwill: The proposals in the High Speed Rail
(London – West Midlands) Bill currently enable the
provision of international facilities at the Curzon Street,
Birmingham Interchange and West London (Old Oak
Common) stations.
Mrs Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport
what anticipated construction costs of building High
Speed 2 are for each year of its construction.
Mr Goodwill: The annual breakdown of the costs of
HS2 up to the financial year 2020-21 is published in
‘Investing in Britain’s Future’, published in June 2013 at
the time of Spending Round 2013. The precise details of
future profiles for the period beyond 2020-21 will be set
at future Spending Reviews.
Mrs Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport
on what date all properties in each local authority area
affected by Phase 1 and Phase 2 of High Speed 2 or
situated above the proposed tunnelled sections of High
Speed 2 were purchased (a) under the HS2 Exceptional
Hardship Scheme and (b) by compulsory purchase;
and what was paid for each such property. [195389]
MrGoodwill:Noproperties have been acquired through
compulsory purchase. Properties acquired under the
Exceptional Hardship Schemes for Phase One and Phase
Two are listed in the tables, which have been placed in
the Libraries of the House.