Payouts revealed for homes blighted by high-speed rail link

Simon Burns
Simon Burns
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YORKSHIRE homeowners have been given the first indication of the compensation available to them if the new high-speed rail link to the capital has a negative impact on their property.

The Department for Transport (DfT) has unveiled the compensation packages on offer to more than 1,000 residents whose homes may be blighted by the first phase of the £32bn HS2 project, between London and Birmingham.

Sources at the DfT said a similar deal is likely to be available for phase two of the line linking Birmingham, South Yorkshire and Leeds, the proposed route for which is due to be unveiled by Ministers before Christmas.

Anyone living within 200 feet of the new line will be able to sell their home to the Government at full, “unblighted” market value. They will also receive a 10 per cent premium as compensation, up to a limit of £47,000, plus the costs of moving house – including the stamp duty on their new home.

People living within a further 200 feet of the line will also be able to sell their home to the Government at full, unblighted value,.

Residents living beyond that point who struggle to sell their homes can apply for the Government to purchase their home at full value. The DfT said the package goes “significantly beyond statutory requirements”.

Rail Minister Simon Burns said: “No major infrastructure project on this scale can be built without some impact on local communities, but I am determined to do everything I can to minimise the effect on those closest to the line.

“We have developed the right compensation package, providing the right support for those affected while at the same time protecting the interests of taxpayers.”

The Campaign for High Speed Rail said that in comparison with previous schemes, “it appears the DfT has managed to negotiate good terms with the Treasury”.

But Hilary Wharf, director of the HS2 Action Alliance, said the proposal “offers no prospect of relief for the vast majority of those whose lives are ruined by HS2”.