CLA sets out case for landowner protections before HS2 Committee

18 November 2014

The CLA has put forward a robust case to MPs for the protection of Buckinghamshire landowners affected by HS2.

In a two-day evidence session held by MPsscrutinising HS2, the CLA – which represents landowners, farmers and rural businesses – put forward the case for specific measures to help protect those most affected by the scheme.

Andrew Shirley, CLA Chief Surveyor and expert witness said: “The compulsory purchase arrangements for HS2 are grossly unfair and create a David verses Goliath situation between the Government and individuals most affected by the scheme.

“I hope the Select Committee listens to the CLA and forces HS2 Ltd to introduce an enhanced complaints commissioner and also to pay for the land they want to acquire before they enter. These two small simple changes will make a tremendous difference to landowners and businesses affected by HS2 in Buckinghamshire.”

CLA member Christopher Prideaux, who lives near Quainton, said: “The reforms proposed by the CLA are essential to my farm business, which has been in my family since 1500. Although we have been appealing to HS2 Ltd to try to limit the damage the railway will do, their current plans provide no certainty to my business and may destroy it and leave me with little hope for the future. 

“HS2 has so far shown little understanding of the impact of unbalanced bio-diversity off-setting, particularly where there is no agreed Defra policy. 

“The Select Committee must listen to the CLA and ensure local businesses do not suffer unnecessarily because of HS2.”  

CLA President Henry Robinson welcomed this important milestone in the Association’s long-running campaign to safeguard the rights of property owners affected by HS2.

He said: “We are pleased to have had the opportunity to set out in detail CLA members’ concerns to MPs. This is an important milestone and we will continue to make our case as the Bill progresses.”