I think we will all be in agreement that High Speed Two (HS2) has been the subject of the headlines for some time now, but it finally seems to be moving forward as approval for the first phase of the project was granted in February this year and work has started along the London to West Midlands route. Construction of new bridges, viaducts and tunnels are due to start 2018/19.
By 2026 it is hoped that the journey between London and Birmingham will take just 49 minutes and then in 2032-2033 subsequent lines will be attached to Manchester, Leeds and Heathrow Airport amongst others which are being discussed that will, in the end, reach up to Scotland.
There are many “for” and “against” arguments but it is clear that HS2 has received much criticism and this criticism still continues today. The cost of HS2 has been reported that its final bill was estimated at £32.7bn billion but the Government recently revised this and it now stands at £42.6bn but the opposition argue that at this stage they cannot possibly know what the overall final bill will be and may well end up exceeding those initial estimates.
One of the “for” arguments is that it is hoping to boost our economy and a Government-commissioned report by the accountants KPMG suggested that the Midlands will benefit more than London. It all remains to be seen however.
That aside, what everyone really wants to know is, how it will affect Homeowners who own Property near to the proposed line?
Well we are told that at every stage of the construction process they are committed to being a good neighbour and will treat local communities with respect and compassion all whilst building the line in a considerate way.
There are different compensation schemes now available and it is even possible to sell your property at its market value back to the Government or receive a lump sum payment, subject to submitting an application, providing the required evidence and being accepted by the Government.
As with all of compensation schemes available you will need to fulfil the criteria applicable to each scheme. Factors such as the location of your Property to the HS2 route and how it is affected by HS2 all form part of the criteria set by the Government and will determine what scheme you may be eligible for, if any.
The different schemes available are:-
- If the Property is in a Safeguarded Area
- If the Property is in a Rural Support Zone
- If you are a Homeowner in Payment Zone (Phase 1)
- If you are unable to sell the Property because of HS2
- Rent Back
You can read what each scheme has to offer and find out how to apply if you are affected by HS2 through the Governments website https://www.gov.uk/claim-compensation-if-affected-by-hs2/overview
If successful then on some schemes they will also pay towards all reasonable expenses you incur such as legal fees.
If you need any advice in relation to HS2 or need legal assistance to help with any of the schemes then please do not hesitate to contact our conveyancing team.