A fairer deal for communities on HS2

74

Transport Minister Andrew Stephenson has announced an overhaul of how land and property is purchased for HS2, to deliver a fairer deal for communities impacted by the project.

The Department for Transport’s HS2 Land and Property Review produced 36 proposals and is paving the way for an improved system that focuses on better communication, more flexible compensation packages and tailored support for businesses.

The Minister, who has special responsibility for HS2, commissioned the Review after the government gave the green light to build the entire HS2 project, alongside a commitment to improve management and boost transparency, accountability and value to the taxpayer.

He said: “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.

“As we build back better from Covid-19, these recommendations will ensure communities are treated with respect by establishing a more transparent compensation process and creating tailored support for businesses.”

Work on implementing the recommendations will begin immediately, with priority given to those that will have the greatest impact as swiftly as possible.

Conducted over the summer, the review has been shaped by a number of key stakeholders, MPs that represent constituencies along the route, and HS2 Ltd. It also includes the lessons learnt from Phase 1 of the project and considers the compensation arrangements of other infrastructure projects.

Among the recommendations published today are measures designed to speed up property valuations and disturbance payments, settle cases and disputes more quickly and build on the improvements HS2 Ltd have introduced to engage more effectively with people.