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Written Question
High Speed 2 Railway Line: Compensation
Tuesday 7th July 2020

Asked by: Theo Clarke (Conservative - Stafford)

Question to the Department for Transport:

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to improve the processes used by High Speed Two Ltd in relation to (a) land and (b) property claims.

Answered by Andrew Stephenson - Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

One of the Government’s key objectives for the HS2 programme is to deliver a step- change in HS2 Ltd’s performance and to drive improvements in transparency and accountability. Central to that ambition is to place people - the communities, individuals and businesses who are being impacted by the new railway - at the heart of everything the Government does.

It is inevitable that a project the size and scale of HS2 will be disruptive to people who face losing their homes, relocating their businesses or having their community disrupted during construction and the future operation of the railway.

The Government has already introduced a range of property compensation schemes that seek to strike a sensible balance between supporting those affected and protecting the public purse. Nevertheless, the Government is determined to ensure those people and businesses are supported, fairly compensated, and treated with compassion, dignity and respect.

I therefore commissioned a review in May of the HS2 land and property acquisition programme. This review is examining HS2 Ltd’s land and property acquisition processes and, where the evidence demonstrates it, associated wider-government policies. It is looking at what can be done to streamline claims and payments to remove unnecessary delay and frustration for people who are giving up land for the scheme.

Work on the review has involved close joint-working between the Department and HS2 Ltd, and engagement with numerous stakeholders, including all line of route MPs. The Government expects the review to conclude shortly. A copy of the final report and proposals for change will be placed in the Libraries of the Houses of Parliament.