High Speed Two (HS2) Rail Network


HS2 Update October 2020

The UK Government announced further updates to the Safeguarding Directions (safeguarded zone) and zoned property schemes that replace all previous versions. Initial Safeguarding Directions and zoned property schemes were first published in June 2019, designed to protect land identified for major infrastructure projects from conflicting developments.

Safeguarding is an established part of the planning process, designed to ensure land which has been identified for major infrastructure projects is protected from conflicting developments.

What has changed?

  • The new directions issued impose town planning restrictions on property owners, obligations on Local Authorities, and have implications for anyone selling a property and allow affected, eligible property owners to claim full statutory compensation.
  • Property owners with properties located within the safeguarded area may be able to serve a blight notice and apply for an express purchase to ask the Government to buy their property, before building the railway. If homeowners do not qualify for an express purchase, they can still apply to sell their property with a blight notice, but the UK Government will only buy these properties if they are needed for the construction of HS2.
  • The entire section of the Western Leg is affected, including off-route works, Preston, and Carlisle. These route changes implicate the allocation of zones in relation to property locations. The Western Leg of HS2 has been divided into 26 community areas, and an online summary outlines the affected areas.

Advice to Property Owners

High Speed Two (HS2) Limited and the Department for Transport have updated the safeguarding guidance for property owners. Over 2,000 letters have been sent to all affected property owners where the Safeguarding Directions have been updated.

Guidance for selling homes and small businesses via the Statutory Blight or Express Purchase process now applies to all phases. 

Compensation Schemes

Homeowner Payments which are shown on all plans are not available for Phase 2b until after the Bill has been passed by Parliament (received Royal Assent), which is expected to be 2022.

For those affected by the HS2 direction safeguarding changes, there are several compensation schemes available. The Government has provided advice for homeowners, to show which property scheme people are eligible for. This specifically depends on the location of their property and which phase of HS2 affects them. The full HS2 Guide to property schemes can be found here.  

The Department for Transport has created guidance and FAQs for the Need to Sell scheme. Launched in 2016, the scheme remains open for applications from those who have already been trying to sell their property and have a compelling reason to sell but cannot due to the impact of HS2 on the local property market. For more information on this visit gov.uk/claim-compensation-if-affected-by-hs2.

useful links

Useful Links

Below are links to all the useful Government web pages and documents mentioned above.

Safeguarding information and maps for HS2

This will provide access to the full range of safeguarding information related to the HS2 rail network.

More info

HS2 safeguarding guidance for property owners

Government information for property owners who require information on HS2 safeguarding and serving blight notice

More info

HS2 Phase 2b Route

A Department for Transport document explaining the route decision for Phase 2b of the HS2 Rail Network

More info

HS2 rural support zone schemes: guidance and application form

This guidance explains the two schemes available for the rural support zone and details of how to apply for a scheme.

More info

Property scheme maps for HS2 Phase 2b

Maps showing the boundaries for the Phase 2b property schemes that cover Crewe to Manchester and West Midlands to Leeds.

More info

HS2 Phase 2b - design refinement consultation

The Government’s consultation on 11 proposed design refinements to the HS2 Phase 2b route.

More info

HS2 Phase 2b - Property Consultation Response

The Government's response to the HS2 Phase 2b property consultation that ran from 15 November 2016 until 9 March 2017.

More info

Claim compensation if your property is affected by HS2

Information explaining the compensation process and how to claim if your property is affected by the HS2 route.

More info

HS2 need to sell scheme: guidance and application form

Guidance and FAQs for the HS2 need to sell scheme alongside an application form to begin the process.

More info