In January the Government announced their final packages of compensation measures for HS2.
HS2 Ltd will now accept applications for the voluntary purchase, cash offer and need to sell scheme. These schemes supplement those launched last year, namely express purchase and rent back.
Please see the link below with details of all the schemes, along with maps to determine what residents in the affected areas are entitled to;
I recognize that the packages are an improvement on the original proposals. Specifically, the Government accepted our argument that my constituency should in effect be treated the same as rural areas, meaning that constituents will have access to all the compensation schemes announced.
However, I am disappointed that that Government did not go further and that the packages still fall far short of the “full and fair compensation to those most directly affected” which was promised by the Government and for which I argued for in my consultation response.
- There is insufficient compensation for construction blight and loss of amenity
- The “Alternative Cash offer” for owner occupiers living between 60 – 100m of line is not a sufficiently strong incentive for people to stay in properties that are blighted.
- The “Homeowner payment” for those living between 120 and 300 m of line is inadequate, not least in the light of evidence from two independent reports that blight should be anticipated up to 500 m from line.
- All homeowners should be free to move home, downsize or remortgage without incurring a financial penalty that is clearly the result of HS2. The core principle should be that no one should suffer financial loss or be trapped in their home because of HS2 and I will therefore be pressing for clarity on the need to sell scheme.
I am well aware that for many residents, no offer will ever compensate for the disruption or loss. Therefore the most important thing is to secure the mitigation that will protect the area. That is why my priority continues to be to win the argument for an extension of the proposed tunnel under the Colne Valley. Please see a link to my website detailing the latest news in our campaign, which includes a link to the London Borough of Hillingdon’s new independent study which shows that the tunnel is both feasible and a viable alternative; http://www.nickhurd.com/2015/01/21/successful-hs2-site-visit/