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HS2 looming over your doorstep, where would you stand?

Everyone is well aware of the risks of compulsory purchase when there is a new government infrastructure put in place. HS2 is an enormous undertaking and no doubt many will be affected, with Phase one (London to Birmingham) being distinct from Phase two (Birmingham to Leeds and Manchester), but where will you stand?

The "Safeguarding" process

Safeguarding is the process which would protect the HS2 route from any planning applications which would affect it being built, or how it's used. This can directly interfere with any planning proposals you may have if you're in the safeguarding area, but what is covered?

So far, the vast majority of Phase one is safeguarded, with only the Bromford to Ealing section in London not currently safeguarded, though it is expected to be soon.

Phase two is also not currently safeguarded. Discussions about safeguarding phase two are still underway.

Generally speaking, the safeguarding zone covers 60m each side of the route.

'Blighted' properties

If a planning proposal has an adverse effect on the value of someone else's property to the point where either:

  • The buyer is no longer interested
  • The buyer will only accept a lower price

The property can be said to have 'planning blight'.

If this is the case, you can start the process to get your property purchased by the government for the price that you could have got pre-blight.

To serve a notice of blight on the government, you need to fulfil the following questions:

  • Are you an owner-occupier of property in, or partly in, the safeguarding zone? If it's a commercial property it must have an annual rateable value of £34,800 or less
  • Is your property partly or wholly within the safeguarded area?
  • Have you made all reasonable endeavours to sell your property?

From then the government have 2 months to consider your notice and either accept or decline. If they decline, you have 2 months to make an appeal to an Upper Tribunal.

What can I get if my property is blighted?

The open-market, un-blighted value of your property.

  • A home-loss payment of 10% of the value of your home (up to £47,000)
  • Reasonable moving costs and professional fees such as conveyancing
  • Compensation for business losses due to relocation or extinguishment is awarded on a case-by-case basis

The proposed HS2 development is likely to affect many people. If you require further advice you should talk to an experienced property lawyer who can give advice on planning. Simply complete the no obligation form below.


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Dated: 28/01/2014

Author: Greg Cox



HS2 compulsory purchase - high speed rail network


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