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HS2 on track with safeguarding of route
Published July 9th, 2013
This morning the Department for Transport has issued safeguarding directions for Phase 1 of HS2.
After weeks of speculation, this morning (9th July 2013) Patrick McLoughlin MP as Secretary of State for Transport issued safeguarding directions for Phase 1 of HS2. This both protects the route of HS2 between London and Birmingham from conflicting development and allows many of the property owners in the safeguarded area to serve a Blight Notice.
For many owner-occupiers of property on the now safeguarded route of Phase 1 this at last means the chance to apply to sell their property to the government by serving a Blight Notice. If relevant criteria are met then the property owner can expect to receive the unblighted property value of their home, a home-loss payment of 10% of their home value (up to £47,000) and reasonable moving cost (including stamp duty plus reasonable legal and professional fees).
The main tests that HS2 will apply when considering the validity of a Blight Notice will be ensuring that property owner-occupiers can answer yes the following three questions:
Q1. Does the applicant have a qualifying interest in the property that they want the Secretary of State for Transport to buy?
Q2. Is the property partly or wholly within the safeguarded area?
Q3. Has the property owner made all reasonable endeavours to sell the property?
Patrick McLoughlin MP provided an assurance to the House of Commons that HS2 seek to process Blight Notices swiftly so that those who qualify can move as quickly as possible.
Full details are available in the HS2 Phase One Guide to Statutory Blight – A Guide for Property Owners.
It should be noted, though, that the discretionary compensation schemes consulted on from October 2012 to January 2013 – including the Advance and Voluntary Purchase Schemes – have not been implemented. Instead these are expected in early 2014.
Berrys’ HS2 expert Marcus Blake commented “After months of waiting many of those owners on the route of HS2 can now seek to sell their homes and move on with their lives. It is slightly disappointing that the Advance Purchase Scheme could not be introduced at the same time”.
Strictly speaking, as part of an application for a Blight Notice it is necessary to demonstrate ‘reasonable endeavours’ have been made to sell the property. However, the Government has indicated in the Guide for Property Owners that it is attracted to not having to apply this particular requirement. Instead they have said they will consider evidence from estate agents that the property is unlikely to sell.
For further information on Safeguarding, Blight Notices and other HS2 matters please contact Marcus Blake at Berrys Towcester office on 01327 356140 or email email@example.com
View the the Ministerial statement here: https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/hs2-safeguarding-the-phase-one-london-to-the-west-midlands-route
See more information on our dedicated HS2 page.