Government Agrees to Buy Houses Affected by HS2

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The Action Makes Clear the Government’s Commitment to the Construction of HS2

The UK government has now agreed to buy over 350 properties along the route of the new High Speed rail link from London to Birmingham.

They are affected property owners who have served Statutory Blight notices or applied via the Express Purchase Scheme.

This makes clear the government’s commitment to acquire a significant amount of the property required for the construction of HS2 before the necessary legislation enabling the railway has even passed through parliament.

However, even when the government has accepted a Statutory Blight notice, care should be taken when negotiating a final settlement, according to experts at independent property consultants Knight Frank.

James Del Mar, head of Knight Frank’s HS2 Team, pointed out that compulsory purchase and compensation legislation is complex. ‘Those facing Compulsory Acquisition or making a Statutory Blight or other compensation claim are entitled to be represented by properly qualified professionals. HS2 will meet those professionals’ reasonable fees incurred in assisting claimants,’ he said.

He explained that the ‘disturbance’ aspect of a claim, for example, has a multitude of facets. ‘As well as the value of the property, which needs to be evidenced by reference to actual market transactions, there is the Home Loss Payment of a further 10% capped at £47,000 or a business loss payment for those that aren’t home owners,’ he said.

‘There is the Stamp Duty Land Tax, itself a significant sum, the removal costs and all other associated expenses which can be considerable. In many cases HS2 are hoping to settle on a full and final basis and are leaving little ability for claimants to come back if they’ve forgotten something,’ he added.

Knight Frank has a dedicated team of Compulsory Purchase and compensation specialists with over 100 years’ experience between them. The team has a 100% success rate in its dealings with HS2 with all fees being directly paid by HS2.

‘It’s an enormously stressful event and taking the comfort in the form of professional advice is one way of diffusing some of that emotion and receiving the reassurance that HS2’s proposal is correct and appropriate,’ said Del Mar.

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