HS2 payouts for housing are allowed
Hundreds of homeowners in Staffordshire can today ask the government to buy their homes or claim compensation after the route for HS2 through the county was rubber-stamped.
The track through the country will run from Fradley to Swynnerton, passing Kings Bromley, Blithbury, Colton, Stockwell Heath, Great Haywood, Ingestre, Hopton, Marston and Yarlet.
It will cross the river Trent at Pipe Ridware, the Trent and Mersey Canal at Great Haywood, and the M6 near Swynnerton.
And Stafford railway station will be connected to the high-speed network via a link to the West Coast Main Line at Handsacre.
Property owners most affected by the new rail line, typically within 60m,197ft, of the track can apply to have their property bought immediately at the full market price plus 10 per cent and moving costs.
Homeowners and small businesses between 60m and 120m, 394ft, from the line can ask for HS2 to buy their homes at the full market price worked out as if HS2 was not happening.
Or they have the option to accept a cash offer of 10 per cent of the property's value and stay put.
Those living beyond the 120m boundary but within 300m, 984ft, of the line can apply for compensation of between £7,500 to £22,500, but only when the scheme has been approved, likely to be 2019 at the earliest.
Those living any distance from the line who can prove a need to sell and that HS2 is preventing them from doing so, can also apply to have their house bought.
There are 1,566 properties within 500m, 1,640ft, of the HS2 in Staffordshire – 744 of which are between Lichfield and Swynnerton.
All property owners affected will receive a letter informing them about potential entitlement.
Part of the £55.7 billion line to Crewe was confirmed yesterday when the government finally confirmed it would press ahead with aiming to build the line through Staffordshire six years earlier than previously planned.
It marks the end of three years of uncertainty for residents in Staffordshire.
Chancellor George Osborne, who was in Staffordshire yesterday, told the Express & Star: "Every time you build a new railway or a road communities are affected by it. We've got to make sure we work with those communities in Staffordshire to keep the impact to a minimum, make sure its got the best possible environmental protection and make sure if someone's home is directly affected they get compensation.
"We'll do all those things with HS2. In the end Britain has a choice. Are we the country that gives up on building the roads and railways of the future, or are we going to make these long term investments that are going to be providing jobs for decades to come. "
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin, who was born in Stafford and is from Cannock, said: "I hope that confirmation of the route will also give communities the certainty they need to plan for the future and make the most of this vital railway."
Stafford MP Jeremy Lefroy said: "I am disappointed that HS2 has not chosen to take into account a number of suggestions that both myself and the local community put forward to them. The Secretary of State has confirmed that further mitigation measures will be discussed."
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