‘More protection needed for those affected byHS2’

A law firm is standing alongside the rural community in fighting for the rights of property owners on the proposed route of HS2.

The recent safeguarding of the proposed route of HS2 by the Department for Transport protects it from any conflicting development. It also triggers the statutory rights of property owners within 60 metres of the route to serve a Blight Notice on HS2 Limited, the government-owned body charged with the overseeing the construction of the railway.

This allows property owners to request that the government purchase their property at market value, under the terms of the Compensation Code.

However, Leamington-based solicitors Wright Hassall agree with the Country Land & Business Association (CLA) that this measure does not go nearly far enough to fully compensate all affected property owners along the proposed route.

The CLA is campaigning for a Property Bond Scheme to help all property owners adversely affected by projects such as HS2. Its main purpose will be to give certainty to property and business owners. The intention would be to underwrite the open market, unblighted value of the property.

Andrew Shirley, chief surveyor with the CLA, said “Those living on, orclose to the route of HS2 have already suffered many years of disruption and uncertainty.

“Having your land, business or house affected is a deeply traumatic experience – these are not just properties, but homes and livelihoods.

“The Government must move quickly to establish a property bond scheme to underwrite property values and not just rely on the inadequate Blight Notice provisions currently on offer.

Not only that, but under the current compensation criteria, only properties within 60 metres of the route will have a statutory right to compensation, leaving many outside this boundary to face years of disruption and blight, possibly without any recompense.

Paul Rice heads Wright Hassall’s agricultural team and deals with farms and rural businesses, as well as private property owners. He is urging those affected to seek advice and not automatically accept any offer put forward by Government.

For more information, contact Paul Rice on 01926 880777 or email paul.rice@