The CLA steps up lobbying on HS2 and compulsory purchase

21 March 2014

After a week of announcements, meetings and presentations, the CLA has told the Environmental Audit Select Committee on 19 March that HS2 Ltd had missed the opportunity to deliver a better environment.

The association believes HS2’s reluctance to consult with landowners over delivering, managing and maintaining new habitats will hinder the environment. CLA President Henry Robinson said:  “HS2 Ltd aims to carry out the project with no net loss to the environment, yet the company has failed to consult with the landowners who currently manage it.

“It is simply not good enough to compulsory purchase land arbitrarily in the vain hope that a good habitat will result where market solutions may be available. Detailed plans must be in place to show how this habitat will be established, maintained, monitored and paid for. If the habitat were well managed, then less land would need to be acquired.”

On 17 March the CLA responded to HS2 Ltd Chairman David Higgins’ report by saying that extending the train route should be considered alongside the introduction of a Property Bond Scheme.

The association said the report suggesting Phase One of HS2 should be extended from London to Crewe offers a real chance to look at how property owners are treated by the scheme.

CLA Midlands rural surveyor Richard Goodwin said:  “The Department for Transport and HS2 Ltd should reassess their proposals and look at introducing the Property Bond Scheme proposal by the CLA. This would go some way to alleviating the blight that many on the route have felt for nearly four years, with some left unable to sell their properties while others cannot make the timely investments needed to keep them going.”

At two meetings on 14 March – in Meriden and Banbury – the organisation’s members took the opportunity to question Parliamentary Agents Bircham Dyson Bell (BDB). The CLA has instructed BDB to petition the Hybrid Bill on the CLA points of concern, in recognition of the significant impact of HS2 on its members. As well as providing useful input for the CLA’s lobbying, its members were given a useful insight into the petitioning process.

The CLA continues to seek case studies to help ensure that those affected receive a fair deal. Contact CLA Rural Surveyor Richard Goodwin at the CLA Midlands regional office on 01785 337010 or email midlands@cla.org.uk

For further photos of the two HS2 events, which took place on 14 March in Banbury and Meriden see http://www.flickr.com/photos/clamidlands/sets/72157642598764744/

For further information on the CLA’s work on HS2 and compulsory purchase see https://www.cla.org.uk/your-area/midlands/hs2-important-information

Note to media: The CLA has team of specialist advisers who are happy to brief journalists on specific issues relating to the complex legislation surrounding HS2 and compulsory purchase. Contact CLA Midlands communications manager Mike Ashton on 01785 337010/07753 574675 mike.ashton@cla.org.uk to arrange to speak to our experts.