HS2 Property Package - what does this mean?

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HS2's new property package - what does it mean?

April 2014

rural consultancy news
HS2 yesterday announced their property compensation package which followed the compensation consultation of late last year.
The package consists of five proposed measures:

Express Purchase Scheme

This is the existing Statutory Blight Scheme by another name, which has been in place since July of last year. Owner occupied residential and some smaller commercial properties are able to force purchase of their property where they lie within the Safeguarded Area, this being (with some exceptions) 60 metres either side of the railway.  In addition to the value of the property (which ignores any devaluation from the announcement of HS2), a home loss payment of up to £47,000, moving costs and professional fees are paid to the successful applicant.

Voluntary Purchase Proposal

This is one of the schemes that was consulted on last year and proposes that owner occupied residential properties and some small commercial properties outside of the Safeguarded Area, up to 120 metres from the railway, will be purchased on request from the property owner for its full un-blighted value.  No home loss payment or moving costs would be paid.  Alternatively, property owners in this area who wished to remain in their properties would be able to opt for a lump sum payment of 10% of the value of their property with a range of £30,000 to £100,000 for this payment.
Despite the property purchase element of this scheme having twice been consulted on, HS2 are to undertake a further consultation before this scheme comes into effect later in 2014.

Need to Sell Proposal

This would be a direct replacement for the existing Exceptional Hardship Scheme where owner occupiers of certain properties can apply to have their properties purchased if they are physically affected by the railway and are suffering an exceptional hardship, forcing them to sell.
The new scheme follows very similar lines but with the inclusion of ‘reluctant landlords’ being able to apply (currently only owner occupiers comply) and the need to release capital for retirement being an accepted need to sell.
Again, despite having been consulted on previously, HS2 require a further consultation before bringing the scheme into operation later in 2014.

Home Owner Payments

This appears to be the statutory Part 1 Claim payment which is available to home owners a year after trains are running, brought forward to be available at a much earlier date.  Payments of £7,500 to £22,500 on a sliding scale are proposed for home owners living 120 to 300 metres from the railway in rural areas. This scheme is again subject to consultation later in 2014.

Rent Back Scheme

This scheme will be available to some home owners who have sold their properties to HS2 and will allow them to rent the property for a short period at a full market rent.  
The above schemes, despite much fanfare, at this point in time offer nothing that wasn’t available previously.  Proposals for consultation later in 2014 may offer greater help to people either side of the railway but it will be important to properly evaluate whether the schemes offer as much as property owners are provided for already by statute.  Fisher German remain at the forefront of representing those affected by the scheme along the full routes of both Phase 1 and Phase 2.
If you are affected by the proposed railway and would like to consider your options for mitigating against the scheme then please do not hesitate to contact one of the HS2 team for your area.
For further informatiom please visit the HS2 section of the website.
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