The UK Department for Transport (DfT) published today a series of recommendations on how to improve the acquisition process for properties purchased within the High Speed 2 (HS2) project.
The 36 proposals are the result of the DfT’s HS2 Land and Property review and aim to deliver a fairer deal for the communities impacted by the high-speed railway. Measures include better communication, speeding up property evaluations as well as disturbance payments and suggestions on how to settle cases and disputes more quickly.
Work on implementing the proposals will begin immediately, with priority given to thosethat will have the most impact in the shortest timeframe.
“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,” said HS2 Minister Andrew Stephenson.
“As we build back better from Covid-19, these recommendations will ensure that communities are treated with respect by establishing a more transparent compensation process and creating tailored support for businesses.”
“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,” commented Royal Institution of Charted Surveyors associate director Tony Mulhall.
“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.”
Conducted over the summer, the HS2 land and property review was commissioned last February by Stephenson after the government gave the greenlight for the entire HS2 network, which will connect London to the Midlands, Manchester, Leeds and Birmingham.
The project began construction in September after receiving its final approval in April, and it’s expected to open between 2029 and 2033.