The Transport Minister, Andrew Stephenson, has announced today (Nov 17) the publication of a range of recommendations that illustrate how land and property which is purchased for HS2 will deliver a fairer deal for communities impacted by the project.
The 36 proposals follow the Department for Transport’s HS2 Land and Property Review and will shape the way for an improved system that focuses on better communication, more flexible compensation packages and tailored support for businesses.
HS2 Minister, Mr. Stephenson, commissioned the review himself after the Government issued the ‘go-ahead’ for construction of the entire HS2 project, together with a commitment to improve management and boost transparency, accountability and value to the taxpayer.
Since HS2 was given the go-ahead, £3.6bn has been spent on buying approximately 1,250 properties, with several complaints being raised over the speed of these purchases, as well as purchasing of potentially unnecessary property, particularly when lines are still not finalised.
The recommendations will be put into place immediately, with priority given to those that will have the highest impact as quickly as possible.
Taking place over the summer, the review has been put together by a number of key stakeholders, MPs that represent constituencies along the route, and HS2 Ltd. It takes evidence from Phase 1 of the project and considers the compensation arrangements of other infrastructure projects.
Among the recommendations published today are procedures designed to speed up property valuations and disturbance payments, settle cases and disputes more swiftly and build on the improvements HS2 Ltd have introduced to engage more effectively with people.
The new recommendations will be taken into consideration as the Government progresses plans for Phases 2a and 2b of the project, which will see the delivery of high-speed rail services to a new station at Manchester Piccadilly, and to Leeds via the East Midlands.
Image: HS2 Ltd