HS2 – Questions and Answers
21 February 2012
Savills dedicated HS2 team answer some of the more frequent questions that are arising around HS2.
How many people’s homes will be directly affected by HS2?
Until the design is finalised, the scope of homes affected is difficult to ascertain, we do not yet know whether demolition be required to some homes as part of the tunnelling exercise.
Will a large proportion of those homes affected be due compensation?
Under current compulsory purchase law guidelines, there are two tiers; a property affected because land is taken when the compensation should reflect the loss in a before and after scheme context, or, part two claims where those affected by noise, light etc will be able to submit a claim. Part two claims tend to be paid on a percentage of house value away from the route and are years away as the railway line will have to be functioning.
Furthermore, the announcement from central Government has suggested a streamlined purchase scheme to simplify the statutory blight process for property owners, a sale and rent back scheme, and a streamlined small claims scheme for construction damage which will allow quicker and simple payment.
There is already a Greater Hardship Scheme in place for homeowners that need to sell due to certain circumstances. The Government announcement on 10 January 2012 said that a refreshed hardship-based property purchase scheme would continue.
How can people go about getting compensation?
Those that fulfil greater hardship criteria can apply for compensation now. This is something Savills can assist with.
Are there any legal problems with compulsory purchase orders?
There is potential that the whole scheme will go for judicial review which will hold-up the process.
With regard to compulsory purchase orders, our experience is that they are well-organised and legal and other problems relating to these are extremely rare.
When will compulsory purchase orders start to arrive?
This process cannot begin until the parliamentary bill has been given Royal consent and the current timetable is that late in 2013, introduction of a hybrid bill to provide the necessary powers to construct and operate Phase 1 (London to West Midlands) will be made.
What is a blight notice?
This is a Notice served by an owner-occupier by which a public authority is required to purchase land that is potentially liable to compulsory purchase – please see detailed criteria.
What if HS2 runs through part of my garden?
If land is acquired then you are entitled to payment for land disturbance compensation (and be in a position to possibly serve a blight notice which will allow the whole of the house to be sold). If you choose to remain at the property then the compensation will be on a before and after scheme basis.
What about noise – can I get compensation for this?
Under current rules, a Part 2 claim can be made a year after completion when the line is open (current proposed opening date 2026).
How will the government’s Exceptional Hardship Scheme work?
This has previously been announced, it relates to owner-occupiers who acquired their property prior to the scheme happening and who are directly affected by the route. There are certain criteria as well which define the need to sell, ie, probate and court orders following divorce etc.
How many homes in total will have to be demolished?
This is uncertain and cannot be assessed until the engineering surveys are completed.
With a completion date of 2026 – is this something for homeowners to worry about now?
There is very little that can be done, hopefully the hybrid bill will deal with some compensation issues.
Are there likely to be new homes built in the affected areas?
Yes, there is ongoing pressure on housing and development will inevitably occur.
Savills Berkeley Square
+44 (0) 1865 269 159