Government in HS2 payouts pledge

HS2 signCompensation measures for residents affected by the London-Birmingham HS2 high-speed rail project will go "significantly beyond statutory requirements", the Government has promised.

The Government said it would buy any owner-occupied home in the "safeguarded area" - an area within 60 metres of the planned route.

As well as paying the unblighted value of the property, the Government is proposing to pay additional compensation of 10% up to the value of £47,000.

The safeguarded area includes 338 homes that will have to be demolished to make way for the first phase of HS2 which cuts through Tory heartlands and is bitterly opposed by some councils and many residents.

There are 483 rural residential properties within the safeguarded area as well as 340 urban residential properties and 278 business properties.

The Government, which will consult on the compensation package, is also establishing a voluntary purchase zone (VPZ) a further 60 metres outside the safeguarded zone in rural areas.

Within the VPZ homeowners can sell their homes at their full unblighted value. There are 788 homes and 25 business properties in this zone.

HS2 is expected to be completed around 2026 and will significantly reduce London to Birmingham rail times.

A second Y-shaped phase, taking the line to north-east and north-west England and beyond, is due to be completed around 2032/33.

Rail minister Simon Burns said: "HS2 will completely transform the UK. It will define our country, not just for the 21st century but beyond - linking our major cities in a way previous generations could only dream of. No major infrastructure project on this scale can be built without some impact on local communities, but I am determined to do everything I can to minimise the effect of HS2 on those closest to the line."
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