“REVISED” HS2 COMPENSATION FOR LOSS OF PROPERTY VALUE WOULD LEAVE THOUSANDS WITH UNSALEABLE HOMES.

HS2 ACTION ALLIANCE

NEWS

 

April 9, 2014.

 

“REVISED” HS2 COMPENSATION FOR LOSS OF PROPERTY VALUE WOULD LEAVE THOUSANDS WITH UNSALEABLE HOMES.

Many homeowners who have seen their property value collapse will go to their graves unable to sell.

 

Commenting on the Department for Transport’s (DfT) plans for compensation for homes blighted by HS2, HilaryWharf, a director of HS2 opposition group HS2 Action Alliance (HS2AA) said:

 

“Nearly 240,000 homes within one kilometre of Phase 1 of the proposed line – London to Birmingham – are impacted by HS2 and are likely to suffer losses.  Almost all are ineligible for compensation under the current policy. A further 250,000 would be similarly impacted under Phase 2 of HS2.

 

“Today’s announcement means people may well go to their graves having been locked into homes made unsaleable by HS2. That the DfT still proposes to consult on an extreme-needs-based long-term scheme shuts out most people from getting property compensation for the loss of property value they have been suffering since March 2010 is an act of inhumanity. Just re-naming it ‘Need to Sell’ makes it no better.

 

“HS2AA has estimated that the net cost of loss of property value on Phase 1 and 2 was £12bn, while HS2 Ltd has to date been budgeting to spend a fraction of this – just £2.5bn  – in compensating affected individuals and purchasing land for building the railway. Today’s announcement adds less than £30m compensation to HS2’s bill.

 

“It’s entirely unjust that the DfT has not extended the 120 metre zone in rural areas in which they will purchase properties, when, plainly, blight exists well beyond that distance, and is in urban areas too.  Even HS2 Ltd’s own evidence from the current Exceptional Hardship Scheme and other studies it has commissioned confirms that blight – loss of property value – goes out to at least 1km and more in many areas.

 

“The lump sum compensation for properties in rural zones out to 300m from the line is derisory. £7.5k to £22k simply ignores the scale of the loss in value – it represents just 1-3% of the average price of properties bought by HS2 Ltd so far. It does nothing to let people sell and move without accepting massive losses. And even this sum would not be paid for several years after the Hybrid Bill is passed.

 

“It’s incredibly disappointing that the DfT has chosen not to modernise its compensation arrangements and adopt a property bond approach – something HS2AA has championed since 2010.  After HS2AA won a Judicial Review against government in 2012, where DfT’s consultation was found to be ‘so unfair as to be unlawful’, the DfT was forced back to the drawing board. Yet the rerun of the consultation late last year completely misrepresented the facts on the Property Bond.

 

“So this is yet another example of how Government  treats residents who are apparently expected to pay out of their own pockets for the blight caused by HS2. And on top of that, HS2 even excludes these sums from the business case. We implore all MPs to insist the full losses are made part of the business case.

 

“The Government can’t expect to ride roughshod over the rights of individuals in this way and avoid dogged resistance to their misconceived project.”

 

Ends

 

Further information:

Iain Macauley

im@pressrelations.co.uk

07788 978800

 

John Read

john.read@readdillon.com

07774 476391

 

http://www.hs2actionalliance.org/