A review into the way land and property is purchased as part of the development of HS2 has been published by the Department for Transport (DfT).
The HS2 Land and Property Review – which was commissioned by Transport Minister Andrew Stephenson after the Government gave the green light to the entire HS2 project – outlines a range of recommendations which will help to deliver ‘a fairer deal for communities’ impacted by the construction of HS2.
The 36 proposals include measures designed to speed up property valuations and disturbance payments, settle cases and disputes more quickly and engage more effectively with people.
The recommendations are expected to pave the way for an improved system that focuses on better communication, more flexible compensation packages and tailored support for businesses.
Transport Minister Andrew Stephenson said: “When we gave HS2 the go ahead, we vowed that we would strengthen our oversight and control to ensure this vital project is delivered at the right price, and that those impacted by its construction get a fairer deal.
“As we build back better from Covid-19, these recommendations will ensure communities are treated with respect by establishing a more transparent compensation process and creating tailored support for businesses.”
Conducted over the summer, the review has been shaped by a number of key stakeholders, MPs that represent constituencies along the route, and HS2 Ltd.
It also includes the lessons learnt from Phase 1 of the project and considers the compensation arrangements of other infrastructure projects.
Work on implementing the recommendations will begin immediately – with priority given to those that will have the greatest impact as swiftly as possible.
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Tony Mulhall, associate director at the Royal Institution of Charted Surveyors (RICS), said: “We welcome the Government’s proposals published today.
“Recommending better communication around a complicated system such as compulsory purchase and giving more support to those who may not be familiar with the processes is a positive step.
“RICS requires its professionals to always come to a fair and equitable outcome in a reasonable time frame, that is to the benefit of all parties.
“Added Government support for an improved faster and fairer system, with all sides adhering to established standards of good practice, can only be to the benefit of the communities along the routes and is something we fully support.”
The new proposals will be taken into consideration as the Government progresses plans for Phases 2a and 2b of the project, which will see the delivery of high-speed rail services to a new station at Manchester Piccadilly, and to Leeds via the East Midlands.