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£1.3bn compensation scheme revealed for HS2

The Government has announced its planned compensation package for properties affected by the proposed £17bn high speed rail link between London and Birmingham. It could result in a payout of up to £1.3bn, yet campaigners have argued it is still not enough.

Described as ‘generous’ by the DfT, the scheme goes beyond statutory requirements to compensate over 2,000 people affected by the first stage of the line.

The type of compensation available ranges from buying and leasing back 338 residential properties that would need demolishing, to purchase schemes for other buildings near the line under blight guidelines.

Properties within 120 metres of the route will qualify for compensation, which becomes more generous for houses within 60 metres of the line. These will be offered the value of their homes before the line was announced, plus an extra 10% up to £47,000.

A long-term hardship scheme will also be available to help those with a need to move during development, but unable to sell their homes. 

The Government has also pledged to work with local authorities, housing associations and residents to develop a strategy and replace any lost social rented housing.

Rail minister Simon Burns said: “HS2 will completely transform the UK. It will define our country, not just for the 21st century but beyond – linking our major cities in a way previous generations could only dream of.

“No major infrastructure project on this scale can be built without some impact on local communities, but I am determined to do everything I can to minimise the effect of HS2 on those closest to the line.

“We have developed the right compensation package, providing absolutely the right support for those affected, while at the same time protecting the interests of taxpayers. We have thought long and hard about this and the measures I have announced are fair and strike the right balance for local communities and the British taxpayer.”

But Hilary Wharf, director of HS2 Action Alliance, said: “What’s on offer is derisory. It’s cynical and dishonest and gives the lie to repeated Government promises that this would be the most generous compensation scheme ever. They themselves say it’s comparable to HS1’s arrangements – regarded as unacceptable 20 years ago.” 

The proposals are now out to consultation until the end of January.

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at


PETER   26/10/2012 at 13:16

It is true that those against or affected by HS2 will find this insulting. many in our area are having to accept that they either cannot sell their homes or are forced to accept a much lower offer ' because of the train'. This effect is much wider than 120metres - more like a kilometer. Plus the added destruction of the area that is what people are paying for when they move here. The real cost of this project is many times the headline figure, which in itself is ludicrous.

Brian   26/10/2012 at 13:53

A more than generous offer. Unfortunately a number of NIMBYs will claim it isn't enough.

Ian Mcdonald   26/10/2012 at 14:20

This level of compensation is similar to that in France which is also quite generous. However only a small fraction of this cost would be incurred if HS2 was routed to follow closely the M1 and M6 motorways (already blighted), avoided Old Oak Common, and served both Euston (without any widened land-take) and St Pancras equally. The whole scheme would then have been cheaper anyway, with much less tunnelling required too. But the obsession with (almost) serving Heathrow at Old Oak Commmon inevitably forces the selected Chiltern route.

Andrew, Oxford   26/10/2012 at 22:05

A percent or two of this sum would give Oxford the new station/transport hub it needs at the Oxpens, rather than a re-work of the existing station, with far greater benefits. Nobody complains about HS1 or the 24/7 noise from motorways.

Anthony Jones   28/10/2012 at 18:29

This project will also create land value increases. How are these to be collected?

Anthony Jones   28/10/2012 at 18:30

This project will also create land value increases. How are these to be collected?

Gabriel Oaks   29/10/2012 at 11:01

When Gatwick Airport changed its flightpath a few years back the increase in noise was substantial. However, nobody is able to claim compensation for this. These people are very lucky with what appears to be a generous offer.

Cailean Wattis   29/10/2012 at 13:02

At a time when public spending is having to be drastically pruned and five million have an income below a living wage (source KPMG) can somebody clarify why is anything more that the statutory requirement for compensation being offered? (This is a question, not an opinion).

Pete   30/10/2012 at 08:00

with money and bugets tight , on the railways why do we not spend that HS2 buget on the infrastructure we have now?

Kate   01/11/2012 at 14:46

I received a leaflet with this information, which said 60 metres for compulsory purchase compensation (which will vary in places). The offer of purchase value + 10% seems very fair to me in today's market, and I would happily move for that, particularly as the line will change from a tube line which is quiet between midnight and 5am to a busy 24 hour train line, but there is very little information on exactly which properties are eligible, how much variation are we talking about and where? does it apply to tunnelled sections in Ruislip?, and when does it actually starts - from the date of construction? My own property is about 10 metres from the line, I am assuming that the compensation scheme applies to me especially as they sent me the leaflet.

Les.   08/11/2012 at 19:01

In reply to Brian and his comment on NIMBY's A stupid word which has no real meaning.. Are you suggesting that what happens in somebody's back yard is none of their concern ? That you should allow anything to happen in the place you live and just put up with it in case some body uses the Nimby word ? A stupid word used by stupid people.

Rod.   05/12/2012 at 15:08

HS2 will be 1 km from my home so I am an unashamed NIMBY. There are many more SEBYS (That is:HS2 is fine just as long as it is in Someone Else's Back Yard) The real fight is to preserve our precious Chilterns and avoid the years of destruction during construction. The government is scratching around to find £5 billion to stimulate the economy and improve infrastructure. Just think what could be done with £33 billion which will otherwise be spent on a very questionable project. As for compensation? For the vast majority like myself it does not exist

Timh   05/12/2012 at 15:23

I sometimes think the £33bn figure is overblown, when you consider that it’s spread over 16 years (and, let’s remember, applies to both phases of HS2, not just London-Birmingham). If you added up all Government spending over the same time period, and all the rest of it, it would be something like £8,500 billion in today’s money. I think spending £2bn a year on HS2 is feasible – considering that’s about what we spend every year on roads in London alone. Plus, a lot of the cost will also be recouped from private sector investment, as I understand it. See here for example:

John   15/04/2013 at 09:35

If you will be able to see it or hear it from your property then the value of your property will be decreased and ALL those thus affected should receive compensation. An arbitrary distance is not a correct measure of impact and this needs to be acknowledged and changed. This is irrespective of the impact on the cost to whole communities during construction due to diversions and time delays.

Fed Up With Prats   09/07/2013 at 19:24

Another ego trip by useless clowns!!

Paul.   02/08/2013 at 14:13

Hurry up and start building! Forget about the moaning minority and think about the benefits of the country as a whole! It's amazing that the route has been designed to require the purcahse of so few properties, I wonder how much tax payers money will have been wasted with tunnels and cuttings that could be avoided just to keep a few NIMBYs happy! I cannot wait to see the beauty of the Chilterns at 180 mph!

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