UPDATED: ‘No compensation for 98 per cent of families’ says anti-HS2 group

Computer-generated visuals of an HS2  high speed train
Computer-generated visuals of an HS2 high speed train

Less than two per cent of families blighted by the planned HS2 line will receive compensation, according to an action alliance group.

The government announced an express purchase and rent back scheme in April for homeowners within 60 metres of the line and a voluntary purchase scheme for families living up to 120 metres from the track.

But a report by PWC, following a freedom of information act request, estimates homes up to 120 metres from the line could lose 40 per cent of their value, 30 per cent of their value up to 300 metres from the line and 20 per cent up to 500 metres from the line.

Hundreds of Vale and south Northants homes could qualify for the money, which the government said has never before been offered for a train line.

Cash payment and homeowner payment schemes are under consultation but national campaign group HS2 Action Alliance says the vast majority of people will get nothing.

It says there are 172,000 homes situated within one kilometre of the HS2 route for Phase 1 (or 250 metres of a tunnel) and current estimates indicate only 3,000 families are likely to get any compensation.

The anti-HS2 group is calling for a property bond scheme to help owners who suffer from a loss in property value.

Spokesman for the group Richard Houghton said: “It seems that the Government doesn’t want to provide full and fair compensation to the tens of thousands of home owners who are blighted by plans for HS2.

“They either simply don’t care or don’t have the money to do the right thing.

“Either way, hard working tax payers are left with homes worth 20-40 per cent less than they should be and in many cases unsaleable.

“By ignoring our recommendations for a property bond scheme, they are hanging out tens of thousands of home owners to dry – we certainly are not all in this together.”

A Department for Transport spokesman said: “HS2 is an exceptional scheme that justifies exceptional support for people living near the line.

“We have announced compensation and assistance schemes that go well beyond legal requirements and offer an effective means of helping people with blight. This includes purchasing properties at their full, unblighted market value.

“We studied the idea of a property bond very carefully but felt that it was untried, would not facilitate the smooth operation of a normal property market and would add to uncertainty rather than reduce it.”

Families in Bucks blighted by Phase 1 (London to Birmingham) of the planned £50 billion line are being asked to make their voices heard and back the property bond scheme in the current government compensation consultation.

Back the proposal here.

The consultation closes at 11.45pm on Tuesday September 30.