HS2 still on track with new consultations and timescales

Published September 27th, 2016

Progress of the new HS2 High Speed rail network connecting London to Birmingham and Lichfield (Phase 1) with extensions to Manchester and the north has been further advanced with the announcement that the Government wants the first part of Phase 2 – the route between the West Midlands and Crewe – to open in 2027, six years ahead of the rest of Phase 2.


This first section of Phase 2, referred to as Phase 2A, will be subject to its own hybrid bill, which the Government hopes to deposit in Parliament in 2017.

On  September 13 the Department for Transport launched three new consultations on the Phase 2A section of the scheme. The launch of these consultation documents has been taken by many as further confirmation of Government support for HS2. The consultation on all three documents closes on November 7, 2016. The main document is the West Midlands to Crewe Design Refinement Consultation and can be viewed at

Property owners along the Phase 2A route, which passes north of Lichfield and Stafford, through to Stone and south of Newcastle under Lyne to Crewe, should check whether their property is impacted by the construction. Many farmers and landowners will need to work with HS2 to minimise the impact and disruption on their business and ownership during and after construction. Some property owners might also qualify for a Statutory Blight Notice. This notice allows a qualifying property owner-occupier within the Safeguarded Zone to sell their property to HS2 at its un-blighted, open market value.

In addition, those property owners who have a Blight Notice accepted can claim for other costs such as Home Loss Payments and Stamp Duty on replacement property, removal costs, legal fees and a broad range of other items associated with a property move.

“We have successfully obtained Blight Notices for a large number of clients impacted by HS2 and then negotiated a bespoke full and comprehensive claim that allows the property owner to move away prior to the construction of the HS2 scheme,” said Marcus Blake, partner and chartered surveyor at Berrys.

“Furthermore, it is hoped that experience and lesson learnt when dealing with HS2 on Phase 1 will help agents provide even more efficient and productive negotiations for farmers and landowners due to be impacted by Phase 2A.

“In the meantime, many farmers, landowners and householders will already be finding themselves contacted by HS2 consultants who are seeking early access licences. This is to allow HS2 appointed contractors onto private property along the route. Under these discretionary licences HS2 seek to carry out either ecology surveys for the potential presence of bats, badger, newts, etc. or to carry out ground investigation surveys including boring, trial pits, etc,”  he added.

Agents such as Berrys have specialists experienced in acting for land owners and occupiers to ensure that the best terms and payments are achieved where such discretionary licences are signed.

For further advice on all matters relating to Phase 1 of HS2 contact Marcus Blake at the Towcester office of Berrys on 01327 356140 or email or for advice related to Phase 2, contact Graham Bowcock at the Northwich office on 01606 818953, email

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.