A consultation on compensating property owners for the long-term damage caused by the High Speed 2 high speed rail line has been re-launched by ministers after the biggest joint lawsuit in legal history.
A judicial review upheld complaints an earlier consultation process was unfair because not enough information was provided and the criteria for compensation options were not properly explained.
In a written statement to MPs, Transport Minister Simon Burns said the new research would seek the public’s views on a package of measures relating to phase one of HS2, planned to run from London to Birmingham.
These include a system for the Government to purchase homes in affected areas and a hardship scheme for owners who want to move but cannot because of the HS2 phase one plans.
In rural areas, the Government said it could issue bonds which would act as a guarantee it would be a buyer of last resort for property.
Alternatively, a voluntary scheme could be created for the Government to buy homes within 120m of the HS2 lines.
Consultations will also be made on renting back property purchased by the Government to the previous owner.
Mr Burns said: “We are committed to fairly compensating those who are affected and we want to hear people’s views on the generous and comprehensive measures we have set out.
“Owner-occupiers within the safeguarded areas who sell their homes to the Government would receive the payments laid down in the compensation code.
“Those further away would receive 100% of the un-blighted value of their properties – that is, its value if there were no proposals for HS2.
“Whatever the outcome of the consultation, the Government is determined to build a fair and effective package of support for property owners.”
In May it emerged that three quarters of families who applied for compensation because they lived near phase of the line had their bids rejected.
Campaigners, led by Staffordshire businessman Trevor Forrester, have now launched the biggest joint lawsuit in legal history to derail the HS2 plans.
It emerged today that of 412 applications decided by May, 299 had been refused with 113 accepted. A further 43 were still being considered at the time.
The HS2 route will link London and Birmingham, passing through swathes of Staffordshire, in the first phase before forking north to Leeds and Manchester.