High Court decision gives the Government pause for thought on HS2 compensation, says CLA.

06 November 2013

The CLA said today (15 March 2013) that the High Court's decision on the HS2 Compensation consultation gives the Government a golden opportunity to completely rethink the way it compensates those affected along the proposed route.

CLA Vice-President Ross Murray said the current compensation regime fails to balance the need for new infrastructure with the rights of the private landowner.

He said: "The inherent unfairness in the current system inevitably leads to conflict and delays increasing the costs for acquirers and those affected. We therefore urge the Government to consider again the recommendations set out in our report 'Fair Play: CLA vision for reform of the compulsory purchase system'  (available at: https://www.cla.org.uk/policy_docs/CLAFairPlayCompulsoryPurchase.pdf)

"Our reform proposals set out an approach which would deliver a better balance between the interests of the parties, reduce conflict and lead to better projects that take into account the impacts on those affected, and mitigate them better."

Mr Murray added: "We believe a reformed compulsory purchase system must include the following key elements: a duty of care with an enforceable code of practice, fairer compensation provisions with greater emphasis on mitigation works, a property purchase guarantee scheme to deal effectively with blight, and the duty to take only the minimum amount of land permanently required and return any land that becomes surplus at any time."