The fabled high-speed train line is slowly making its way through the UK as part of the Phase One plan and it is now reaching the Midlands. But, what impact will it have for the people living here and what can you do if your property is on the proposed HS2 route?
HS2 hopes to bring modern and effective public transport to the public. It should be quicker (much quicker in fact!) and reduce cancellations/delays that commuters currently face when travelling. Importantly, the train line is seen as a link between the north and south of the UK.
The main stations in the Midlands will be the Birmingham Curzon Street Station and eventually, the East Midlands Hub, which is proposed to be just outside of Nottingham. However, the entire train line will run from London, to as far as Glasgow and Edinburgh.
Travel times from the Birmingham station are expected to be as follows:
- Manchester: 40-minutes
- London: 45-minutes
- Newcastle: 49-minutes
- Leeds: 40-minutes
If these times are achieved it would allow commuters to work in a completely different part of the country to where they live and in theory, should reduce travelling by motor vehicles.
However, the HS2 project has come at a cost. The entire project currently has a £56 billion budget, it is expected to use this up just to build the line from London to Birmingham. Further, HS2 has already swallowed up over 900 properties at a cost of around £600 million.
So what can you do if your property lies within or near to the proposed HS2 route?
The train line may have ‘blighted’ your property (i.e. reduced the value and marketability). As such, in certain circumstances you are entitled to compensation. This is determined by how far your property lies from the proposed train route.
1. HS2 Safeguarded Area
HS2 has earmarked a safeguarded area for infrastructure and construction, in relation to the train line. If your property lies within this, you can submit a Blight Notice application. If your Blight Notice application is successful, you may be entitled to sell your property to the government at the full un-blighted market value. Further, you may be entitled to further costs such as moving fees and legal costs.
2. HS2 Rural Support Zone
This is an area 120 metres from the centre of the rail line. If your property lies within this, you have a number of options:
(a) Receive a cash offer of 10% of the value of the property up to a maximum of £100,000;
(b) Enter into the Voluntary Purchase Scheme, where HS2 will purchase your property at the full un-blighted market value of the property. You will not however be able to claim for additional costs such as moving fees; or
(c) Enter into the Need to Sell Scheme. This has a number of conditions, but importantly you must have marketed your property for 3 months and have received no offers within 15% of the un-blighted market value.
Having sold your property under one of the schemes above, there is a further option to rent back your property from the Government. This may enable you to continue living in the property until more suitable, permanent accommodation is found.
3. HS2 Homeowner Payment Zone
Property owners can receive a lump sum payment, again depending on their distance from the centre of the train line.
Compensation zones are as follows:
(a) Properties between 120 metres and 180 metres from the line – £22,500
(b) Properties between 180 metres and 240 metres from the line – £15,000
(c) Properties between 240 metres and 300 metres from the line – £7,500
It is worth noting that should you later wish to enter one of the sell schemes, the value of the compensation given to you under this scheme will be deducted from the final purchase price of your property.
The above is intended to give you a brief overview of the different schemes available to home-owners on the proposed HS2 route. It does not give details of the more in-depth rules that may prevent you from being able to use one of the schemes – further information can be found on the Government website (https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/high-speed-two-limited).
With HS2 now coming through the Midlands, BHW can advise you should you be selling to HS2 under one of the schemes in the Midlands. Call 0116 289 7000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.