HS2 compensation for affected homes

High Speed 2 (HS2) is the planned high-speed railway that will link London with the West Midlands and is set to be one of the largest single sources of new jobs in the infrastructure sector. The project is expected to employ over 26,000 people throughout the supply chain and will significantly shorten the journey time between London and Birmingham for thousands of commuters.

The first phase of the project is expected to be completed by 2026, with later phases forking out from Birmingham to Leeds and Manchester respectively. The prospect of new jobs and improved transport links may come as welcome news for many, but property owners along the proposed route may be in for some challenging times ahead.

The High-Speed Rail (London-West Midlands) Act was passed on 23 February 2017, and this gives the government powers to acquire land along the railway route to build and maintain the railway.

While many people will benefit from the improved transport infrastructure, many properties in close proximity to HS2 will be permanently blighted.

In an attempt to remedy this, the government has safeguarded the areas along the route, giving property owners (and occupiers) the ability to serve a ‘Statutory Blight Notice’. Owners of commercial property may also serve such a notice, which is intended to enable property owners to sell their property to the government at its full unblighted market value.

Property owners who have had Blight Notices accepted may also claim for a “home loss” payment equal to 10% of the property’s unblighted value, as well as the payment of reasonable expenses. These include stamp duty on a subsequent property, legal fees, and removal costs.

Two further schemes are available to those in rural areas surrounding the safeguarded area: the first being applicable to up to 120 metres from the line and the second up to 300 metres from the line. Those closest to the line will be able to sell their property to the government for its full unblighted value at any time for up to one year after HS2 is completed. Those further from the line will receive varying levels of compensation based on proximity.

If you have been affected or may be affected and would like assistance, please contact our Property team.