‘Watch out for the second great train robbery’, says CLA

31 January 2014

The CLA has today (31 January) responded to the HS2 route consultation covering the Phase Two tracks from Birmingham to Manchester and Leeds saying the increasing land grab is unacceptable.

The organisation warned that landowners could lose up to three times the land they initially expected to the high speed rail scheme.

CLA President Henry Robinson said: “HS2 has so far taken huge amounts of land for environmental mitigation, contractors sites, and electricity substations. It also has the power to take land for development. 

“Now there is talk of using the route for electricity and water distribution which will require even more room.

“Landowners up and down the route have three main concerns - that HS2 will take too much land, pay too little compensation and bring years of uncertainty that will damage their homes, businesses and farms. 

“If HS2 goes ahead it should only take land required to satisfy its legal obligations to construct a railway”

The CLA’s response to the consultation argues that the scheme should have a duty to only take the minimum land required to construct a railway.

Mr Robinson said: “We want a Property Bond Scheme put in place to address blight, a duty of care with an enforceable code of practice and better compensation provisions with accompanying mitigation.”

CLA Midlands Rural Surveyor Richard Goodwin added: “The compulsory purchase legislation used to deliver schemes like HS2 is hugely outdated. It is also unsuited to dealing fairly and properly with the many businesses and livelihoods affected due to the sheer scale of the HS2 infrastructure.

“There will be little certainty on the final land take for at least three years, and then construction will take more than a decade to complete. Businesses and individuals are suffering and will continue to do so for the next two decades”