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Full steam ahead for HS2

Wednesday 26 July 2017

HS2 Ltd and the Department for Transport have announced new changes to the controversial HS2 high-speed railway route, and released information on the compensation schemes available to those affected.

The much-debated plans, which will see homes demolished to make way for part of the rail line, claim the new route will affect fewer homes overall and will save more than £1 billion in spending.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4's Today programme, Transport secretary, Chris Grayling said: “If we want high-quality infrastructure for the future were going to have to invest in it, we’re going to have to spend money.”

Commenting on the proposed tunnel which is set to run under the Chilterns, north of London, Grayling said: “There are other countries who might have just ploughed through the Chilterns. The reality is we are spending what it will take to deliver the best infrastructure in way that’s sensitive as possible to the environment it’s going through.”

One of the biggest developments from the recent proposal and last weeks announcement concerns the village of Measham in Leicestershire, where the Government took the decision not to adopt the proposal of the route to the East of Measham - instead it has confirmed a refined version of the route which follows the A42.

What you need to know

Property owners who are directly affected by the changes should have received communications from HS2 outlining the modifications to the Measham route, and a newly proposed rolling stock depot site to the East of Leeds which is now subject to consultation.

You can check the HS2 route to see if an area near you is due to be affected. These maps, covering Crewe to Manchester and the West Midlands to Leeds, show where the boundaries lie for the Phase 2b property schemes.

Homeowners may be able to sell their property to the government at its market value, or receive a lump-sum payment if it’s near the proposed HS2 route. Eligibility depends on the location of the property and which phase of HS2 it is affected by. The government have set out how property owners can make a claim for compensation.

The Need to Sell scheme which was launched in November 2016 for the Phase 2b route has been re-confirmed and remains open for applications from those who have been trying to sell their property or have a compelling reason to sell but cannot due to the impact of HS2 on the local property market.

The transport secretary is due to publish a bill shortly, prioritising phase 2a of HS2 which involves speeding up construction work between Birmingham and Crewe. This could mean services being built six years earlier than first envisaged.

What you should be advising customers

Whilst the Transport Secretary has boasted the development will bring massive economic benefits up and down the country, it will also have a huge impact on residents.

Some communities who originally thought they would be affected by the build now won't be. Agents in Aylesbury were found to have misled buyers by advertising the presence of a future HS2 station, however there are no plans for a stop in the area.

It is important to have a clear understanding of the planned rail routes and agents should be familiar with the location of new stations and how close the infrastructure will be to new and existing housing developments.