Taylor Scott International News
A package of compensation and assistance for property owners along the London to Birmingham High Speed 2 rail route (HS2) has been confirmed by the UK government. With immediate effect owner occupiers of homes and small businesses between generally 60 metres and up to 120 metres from the line in rural areas can submit an application to HS2 Ltd to purchase their property at the full, unblighted value under the voluntary purchase scheme. This is the value of the property as if there were no plans for HS2. As an alternative to the voluntary purchase scheme, these eligible property owners will also have the option to accept a cash offer of 10% of that same value and stay in their homes and businesses. Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said that this will support people who want to remain in their community. Those beyond the 120 metre boundary but within 300 metres of the line in rural areas will, following Royal Assent of the Phase One HS2 Hybrid Bill, be able to apply for a home owner payment ranging from £7,500 to £22,500, which will enable them to share early in the benefits of the railway. Eligible owner occupiers living any distance from the line of route can now apply to the Need to Sell (NTS) scheme, which also pays the unblighted value to people with a compelling reason to sell their property, but who have been unable to do so, other than at a substantially reduced price, due to HS2. The criteria for the NTS scheme is more relaxed than the exceptional hardship scheme (EHS) it replaces and, unlike the EHS, will consider applications from those who may not need to move immediately. HS2 Ltd has also launched a residents’ charter to help ensure that residents are treated in a fair, clear, competent and reasonable manner. The Residents’ Commissioner overseeing the charter is Deborah Fazan who has considerable experience as a commissioner and property advisor on transport and construction schemes. In her new role, she will ensure that HS2 Ltd meets its commitment to the communication standards and personal support set out in the new charter. ‘This comprehensive package of compensation and assistance is looking after those people who live along the HS2 route while balancing our responsibilities to the taxpayer. People at the heart of this vital new railway will also benefit from HS2 Ltd’s new residents’ charter and the appointment of the Residents’ Commissioner, who will ensure that the commitments in the charter are upheld,’ said McLoughlin. Simon Crowther, HS2 Ltd’s land and property director, said it is important that those living near to the railway are able to easily access the financial assistance that the government is offering. ‘The residents’ charter sets out our commitment to making that happen. We will be working closely with the new Residents’ Commissioner to deliver the standards required, ensure that people are treated fairly and help them understand what they are entitled to,’ he… Continue reading →
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