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HS2 compensation package needs to strike fairer deal, says CLA

The CLA today (25 October) said compensation proposals for the compulsory purchase of land and property along the High Speed Two (HS2) rail line between London and Birmingham need to strike a fairer deal for landowners and rural businesses.

The Association said the proposals are better than the current statutory offering but are still not enough to reassure people who are set to lose homes and have their businesses disrupted over many years.

CLA President Harry Cotterell said: “We welcome HS2’s recognition that rural areas have different needs to urban compulsorily acquired schemes. However, we believe it does not address the requirement for a duty of care or an easily accessible appeal procedure if an affected person is not satisfied with a deal.

“People and businesses are suffering now and, although money cannot compensate them for all losses, having a fairer system that achieves a better balance between acquirer and landowner makes the process more bearable.”

He added: “The CLA continues to call for a property bond, working from the present until completion and an uncapped 30 percent uplift in price for purchasing property. This is not about profits but about ensuring adequate compensation is made for losses that people affected by HS2 have been forced to face.”

Mr Cotterell said the CLA was concerned that proposed compensation measures do not fully take into account rural businesses along the route.

He said: “The proposals fail to find solutions through mitigation and accommodation works to reduce the impact for businesses on the route throughout this long-term scheme. Some rural businesses are dependent on the view but the parliamentary time, planning, design and construction of this scheme could take up to 20 years. Those affected will still have to manage their businesses during this long period while still uncertain about the compensation they may finally receive.”

The CLA President pointed out the consultation was keen to stress that these proposals do not set the precedent for other schemes. He said: “The fact that a scheme of this type is proposed for HS2 highlights that the current compulsory purchase system is in urgent need of reform. We will study the proposals carefully and respond to ensure a workable and fair scheme is produced.”


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