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Buckinghamshire homeowners get £100,000 HS2 compensation (but only £22,500 in Birmingham)

Buckinghamshire homeowners get £100,000 HS2 compensation (but only £22,500 in Birmingham)

🕔09.Jul 2014

People living in £1 million homes close to the HS2 high speed rail line are being offered £100,000 in compensation by the Government if they wish to carry on living where they are.

The deal relates to dwellings in rural areas that are between 60 and 120 metres from the line.

Under proposals announced by Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin, the Government will pay 10 per cent of a property’s value capped at between £30,000 and £100,000.

Properties in the Chilterns in Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire, where opposition to HS2 from residents and Tory MPs has been intense, are commonly worth upwards of £1 million. Owners will be able to take an immediate £100,000 compensation payment if Mr McLoughlin’s proposals are confirmed by parliament.

Alternatively, occupiers of properties close to the line can simply sell their homes to the Department for Transport for what they would have been worth had there been no plans for HS2.

A different, less generous, compensation scheme is proposed for people living in Birmingham. Homeowners in towns and cities affected by HS2 will receive a maximum £22,500 in compensation. Mr McLoughlin said a planned homeowner payment scheme would give owner-occupiers outside of rural areas living within 120 and 300 metres of the line “the opportunity to share early in the benefits of HS2 by receiving a cash payment”.

Those between 120 and 180 metres of the centre of the line of the railway would receive £22,500; between 180 and 240 metres the sum would be £15,000 and for those between 240 metres and 300 metres, £7,500. The scheme would launch as soon as possible after Royal Assent to the Hybrid Bill.

Mr McLoughlin said: “HS2 is an exceptional scheme that justifies an exceptional support for people living near the line. It is only right that those people are properly looked after.

“The compensation and assistance package I announced in April is already enabling us to help people more. I am now asking for further views on two supplementary cash payments which provide an incentive for property owners to remain in their community and enable early sharing of the benefits of the railway.

“HS2 will transform many people’s lives for the better, but where its impacts are less positive we are doing all we can to provide the right help.”

Mr McLoughlin stressed that an express purchase scheme for people living closest to the line, generally within 60 metres, would allow the Government to buy properties at the full un-blighted market value, plus a 10 per cent payment up to £47,000. All reasonable moving expenses, including stamp duty, will be covered.

The Transport Secretary added: “The scheme is designed to be quick, clear and as straightforward as possible to make it easier for owner-occupiers to sell their property to the government, if they wish to do so.

“A ‘rent-back’ option has also been made available which will mean that those people who want to sell their properties but carry on living where they are, may be able to do so.

“The exceptional hardship scheme continues to be available for those who have an urgent need to sell their home but are unable to do so because of HS2. The Government has already bought 140 properties at a cost of around £83 million from owner-occupiers living near the route. This is under the discretionary exceptional hardship scheme for people with a pressing need to sell.

“In April, the Government also announced its intention to replace the exceptional hardship scheme with a need to sell scheme and consider applications to buy properties at full un-blighted market value from owner-occupiers who have a compelling need to sell, such as job relocation or ill health, but who are unable to do so because of plans to build HS2.

“The Government hopes to have this scheme available in urban and rural areas by the end of 2014 when it will replace the exceptional hardship scheme.

“The Government believes this package represents the best possible balance between properly helping people and providing value for money for the taxpayer.”

 

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