Phase 2 EHS scheme launched

As well as announcing the start of the HS2 Phase 2 consultation, yesterday saw the launch of the Phase 2 Exceptional Hardship Scheme.

Details of the scheme, including how to apply, is on the HS2 Ltd website, Exceptional Hardship Scheme – Phase Two.

This might seem like good news for people blighted since January by Hs2, but the reality from Phase 1 is that the EHS so far has a poor record.

HS2 Ltd’s own data shows that of the applications they received, they have accepted less than a quarter.

From their table “Received EHS Applications Analysis”:

To Date1 JULY 2013
Number of applications received474
Number of applications which are reapplications130
Number of applications withdrawn by applicants12
Number of applications accepted under the EHS115
Number of applications rejected under the EHS312
Number of applications pending a decision33
Number of formal offers accepted by applicants100
Number of purchases which have completed85

 

Simon Burns, David Cameron and others may talk in Parliament about a future scheme being “fair and generous” but are stalling unacceptably, as Cheryl Gillan’s question to the Prime Minister shows:

From Hansard

Mrs Cheryl Gillan (Chesham and Amersham) (Con): While still hoping that the Prime Minister will agree with the CBI and me and withdraw support for HS2, he will remember last November giving me an undertaking that people disrupted by this project would be fairly and generously compensated. Is he aware that on phase 1, HS2 Ltd has not yet rerun the basic consultation on compensation, and on current plans will not do so for two or three months? Will he please intervene and speed up this process before those constituents, and others whose lives are affected, are totally ruined by this flawed project?

The Prime Minister: My right hon. Friend is absolutely right to raise this matter. We will be setting out further consultation later this year, as we have previously announced. We are committed to a very generous and fair compensation scheme. Matters relating to compensation are very important, which is why we have to consider them carefully and make sure that we get the decisions right. My right hon. Friend the Transport Secretary will be happy to meet her and discuss her constituents’ concerns.

Grand talk is all very well, but no scheme is fair or generous until it starts paying out for real blight suffered by real people.

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