Government Trash Property Bond

HS2AA’s  appearance before the Select Committee considering the HS2 Hybrid Bill last November covered the importance of a fair deal for communities blighted by HS2. We highlighted our proposals for a Property Bond, which would provide confidence to the property market as well as reflecting private sector best practice.

The Government opposed our proposals, mainly on the basis of claims that these proposals were too expensive. We disputed these assertions, pointing out that HS2 Ltd had even commissioned external experts to look at the Property Bond and they confirmed that the proposals could be delivered at a reasonable cost.

At the hearing in Parliament, it was agreed that HS2 Ltd would set out in writing details of why they believed HS2AA’s proposals for a Property Bond would be too expensive for the tax payers. HS2AA would then respond and the Select Committee could then assess the evidence and make recommendations on what fair  compensation arrangements would look like.

HS2 Ltd and the Department for Transport cynically delayed producing their note until the evening of January 13th. With the Government expected to announce the details of their preferred scheme, tomorrow January 16th, this action meant HS2AA will have had no opportunity to respond to the points raised.

It’s hard to escape the conclusion that the Government just will not engage on a proper debate on a fair deal for communities blighted by HS2. You can read a copy of the Government’s note here and a copy of our response here. We will be writing to the Select Committee in due course to set out why we believe the Government’s assertions are incorrect.

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