View from the countryside: Be very careful

This is taken from press releases by Knight Frank and the CLA (Country Land and Business Association) and do not necessarily reflect the views of Stop HS2.

CLA President Harry Cotterell said the CLA was concerned that proposed compensation measures do not fully take into account rural businesses along the route.

He said: “The proposals fail to find solutions through mitigation and accommodation works to reduce the impact for businesses on the route throughout this long-term scheme. Some rural businesses are dependent on the view but the parliamentary time, planning, design and construction of this scheme could take up to 20 years. Those affected will still have to manage their businesses during this long period while still uncertain about the compensation they may finally receive.”

The CLA President pointed out the consultation was keen to stress that these proposals do not set the precedent for other schemes. He said: “The fact that a scheme of this type is proposed for HS2 highlights that the current compulsory purchase system is in urgent need of reform. We will study the proposals carefully and respond to ensure a workable and fair scheme is produced.”

James Del Mar, head of Knight Frank’s HS2 team, said: “Farmers and rural landowners will need to plan particularly carefully and take expert advice because they are likely to own a number of affected property types – farmland, commercial buildings and residential property – that fall within the various zones and could be eligible for a number of the different compensation packages.

“It does seem unfair that commercial property with a rateable value over £34,800 will not qualify for the new schemes. This could penalise those farmers who have created successful diversification enterprises.

“Whether the 60m safeguarding strip will be adequate along the entire route is debatable, but it does seem wrong that the “sale-and-leaseback” scheme only applies to those whose houses will need to be actually demolished. Other properties should also qualify.”

“There are still going to be many people who will not qualify for any form of compensation for the loss in value of their homes caused by HS2 until one year after the line has been operational. That strikes me as iniquitous, particularly to those who live outside the Voluntary Purchase Zone and want to move home, but will not qualify for the revised hardship scheme even though HS2 has reduced the value of their homes.”

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