HS2 announce improved compensation packages

Published April 9th, 2014

On Wednesday 9th April 2014 HS2 announced immediate introduction of an improved compensation and assistance package for property owners close to the route of the scheme. This package includes:

Express Purchase Scheme – this is for owner-occupiers of properties within 60 metres of the proposed line (known as the ‘surface safeguarded area’). Under this scheme, the government could buy properties at the full unblighted market value, plus 10% (up to £47,000) and reasonable moving expenses, including stamp duty. On the face of it this appears to be similar result to service of a Blight Notice, but as we know, the devil will be in the detail yet to come.

Rent-back option – will help those people who want to sell their properties (under any of the schemes being announced) but carry-on living where they are, may be able to do so.

The Exceptional Hardship Scheme will also continue to be available for those who have an urgent need to sell their home but are unable to do so because of HS2. The government has already bought 114 properties at a cost of around £67m from owner-occupiers living near the route. This is under the discretionary Exceptional Hardship Scheme for people with a pressing need to sell.

Possible Replacement for the Exceptional Hardship Scheme by end of 2014

Following the further consultation, the government also intends to introduce a Need to Sell scheme and consider applications to buy properties at full unblighted market value from owner-occupiers who have a compelling need to sell, such as job relocation or ill health, but who are unable to do so because of plans to build HS2. This scheme does not have a boundary. The government hopes to have this scheme available in urban and rural areas by the end of 2014 when it will replace the Exceptional Hardship Scheme.


Schemes Yet to Come

Following the further short consultation, the government also intends to introduce a Voluntary Purchase scheme by the end of this year for owner occupiers in rural areas outside the safeguarded area and up to 120m away from the line. Eligible owner-occupiers would be able to apply to sell their property for its full unblighted market value.

Alternatively, if these owner-occupiers do not want to move, they can await the outcome of the further consultation to begin later this year on a Cash Payment of 10% of the value of their home (from a proposed minimum of £30,000 to a maximum of £100,000).

Beyond the main compensation package the government is due to consult on a Homeowner Payment scheme which would entitle owner-occupiers to a cash payment if they live between 120 metres and 300 metres from the line in rural areas. We will have to wait for more details on this much needed scheme. The payments could be from £7,500 to £22,500, depending on how close the route is to the property. This would come into effect following Parliamentary approval of the HS2 route between London and the Midlands.

For further information on existing and proposed HS2 compensation provisions please call Marcus Blake of Berrys Towcester Office on 01327 356140 or email on

For more information...

Visit our relevant website page: HS2

More about Marcus Blake

Chartered Surveyor
Tel: 01327 356143
Mobile: 07789 221559

Marcus is a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and a Fellow of the Central Association of Agricultural Valuers. He joined Berrys in 2011 as a Senior Practitioner.

Marcus has a background advising landowners, farmers and charities on a broad spectrum of work, valuation and estate management advice. He can assist on the sale and purchase of rural and development property, whether by private sale or auction. Working with land owners, charities and developers, Marcus has practical experience on a diverse range of planning and development projects. He can provide advice on small, medium and large scale schemes, plus Option and Promotion Agreements. Since 2010 Marcus has advised property owners on all aspects of the proposed High Speed 2 (HS2) rail link plus other schemes involving compulsory purchase.