HS2 consultation fails to deliver certainty or much-needed compensation, says CLA

05 December 2013

The CLA said it was disappointed that assurances of “fair and generous” compensation by former Transport Minister Simon Burns have been ignored in the Department for Transport’s consultation for those affected by HS2.

 The Association, which has been leading the debate in Westminster, has submitted evidence to the consultation after working closely with MPs.

 CLA President Henry Robinson said: “Landowners, farmers and rural businesses who will have land taken by HS2 have already lived through years of uncertainty. Those who remain in situ throughout the construction process will suffer the noise, dust, traffic, disturbance and disruption caused by more than a decade of HS2 construction.

“The consultation does little to address this and we urge the Government to look again at delivering a fairer system.”

 CLA Chief Surveyor Andrew Shirley said while there are valuable options for a long-term hardship scheme, it is predominantly aimed at residential properties.

 He said: “Proving hardship to an independent panel is often very difficult, as demonstrated by the high number of rejections from the existing Exceptional Hardship Scheme.

“Many agricultural and rural businesses will have land outside both the safeguarded area and the proposed Rural Support Zone, therefore the discretion as to how HS2 deals with these properties offers little comfort.

 The Association said the consultation offers the opportunity for discussion about a Property Bond Scheme, but the time based model chosen by the Department for Transport falls short as it relies on the indexing of historic property values, rather than up-to-date figures.

Mr Shirley said: “The proposed CLA Property Bond Scheme takes account of current property values and the real impact of HS2. Uniquely, the scheme would secure up-front compensation for farmers and businesses who have already suffered years of disturbance. 

“This would allow re-investment decisions to be taken in a timely manner, so that the business can continue to develop despite HS2.”