HS2 Ltd have today announced the consultation on land safeguarding and their third consultation on compensation in three years.
The Department for Transport says the compensation proposed would be “significantly beyond statutory requirements”, with Transport Minister Simon Burns saying it would “strike the right balance for local communities and the British taxpayer”.
Maps have been published showing the ‘safeguarded area’, which is also up for consultation. As standard this is 60 metres either way of the centreline of the route, with there being a further “voluntary purchase zone” in rural areas, which could stretch to 120 metres either side of the tracks. Additionally the government is proposing to pay additional compensation of 10% up to the value of £47,000.
The consultations will run until 31st January 2013, and we believe there will be a set of local road shows, as there were with the main consultation in 2012.
Joe Rukin campaign coordinator for Stop HS2 said;
“While we are pleased that after two and a half years, the Government has finally recognised the damage HS2 is causing to communities along the route, we see this as a cynical, uncosted attempt to buy off the opposition to the project, and it will not work. Today, subject to the outcomes of the consultation, the Government has massively increased the overall cost of the HS2 project to even more astronomically unaffordable proportions, whilst still leaving many homeowners in limbo. Simon Burns says that measures strike the right balance for communties and the taxpayer, but the proposals do not seem to provide any provision for loss of commmunity amentities and do not seem to take account of the way in which wider communities will be effected. The previous budget for compensation was £800m, which the leader of Camden Council doesn’t even think will cover the first mile from Euston. What the cost of compensation would be now is anyones guess.”
“We are also astounded at the scale of the ‘safeguarded zone’ which has been announced today and the land take which will be required. It is clear that the environmental damage which HS2 will reap has multiplied significantly today as well. We will encourage people to engage in the consultations, but frankly have no faith in Hs2 Ltd to carry them out properly, as they face a legal challenge in December after the lost two batches of responses from the last consultation and failed to analyse them properly.”