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Changes to HS2 safeguarded zones

Tuesday 10 October 2017

The Government have published changes to the Safeguarding Directions and zoned property schemes for Phase 2a of the planned HS2 route.

On 17 July 2017, the government introduced the High Speed Rail (West Midlands to Crewe) Bill into Parliament. This hybrid bill, which is a mix between a public and private bill, authorised the next part of the HS2 railway network, known as Phase 2a, running between Fradley in the West Midlands and Crewe in Cheshire.

The Government has now released updated guidance summarising the compensation schemes available to people whose land or property may be affected by the construction or operation of the HS2 Phase 2a railway to reflect the hydrid Bill limits announced earlier in the year.

So, what's actually changed?

Previously, Safeguarding Directions followed standard distances from the centreline of the track - approximitely 60 metres either side of the centreline. The updated safeguarding boundary now closely follows the land take captured by the recent Bill, separating the area adjacent to the line of route into four different zones, but excluding a small amount of land that relates to existing utility upgrade works and adopted highways related works.

Where land which was previously safeguarded no longer falls within Bill limits, the Extended Homeowner Protection Zone (EHPZ) scheme will grant the landowner the retained benefit of being able to apply for statutory compensation on a discretionary basis. What this means is, homeowners will have the oppertunity to apply to sell their property on the same terms, should they wish, or serve a Blight Notice for a period of five years from the date of being removed from safeguarding.

The boundary of the Rural Support Zone and further Homeowner Payment Zone has also been updated to reflect changes to the horizontal alignment of the route. 

Correspondence has been sent to all affected property owners, including those where there has not been a change in circumstances, and Local Planning Authorities have also been informed by letter of the change to Safeguarding Directions.

Further information

A new version of the Statutory Blight and Express purchase guidance has been produced (which also covers EHPZ) to help owners who require further information on HS2 safeguarding and serving a Blight Notice. 

A new set of Safeguarding plans and Zoned Schemes plans have also been issued, which break down, by area, the safeguarding area between the West Midlands and Crewe and where the boundaries lie for the Phase 2a scheme.

The main property schemes information online, as with other phases of the route can be found at here

View the full guidance

The Government has confirmed that HS2 Phase 2a (the link to Crewe) is due to be completed by 2027, with Phase 2b is planned to be operational by 2033.