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HS2 compensation package unveiled

Residents affected by the high-speed rail network will be offered up to £47,000 on top of compulsory purchase values, and a ‘voluntary purchase zone’ will be set up.

The line is to connext Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds with Heathrow and London, with stations in the East Midlands and South Yorkshire.

According to the Department of Transport, “the government recognises the impact the project is having on property markets along the first phase of the route, and, after careful consideration, has decided to go above and beyond what is required by law”.

Owner-occupied homes within the ‘safeguarded area’ close to the route will be bought at full value, and a 10 per cent additional compensation of up to £47,000 will be made.

The first phase of the £33bn scheme is due to begin operation in 2026.

Within the voluntary purchase zone, in the area immediatel outside the safeguarded zone, homeowners will be able to sell their homes at full value.

A long term hardship scheme will also be set up to help those who need to move during construction but cannot sell their homes.

Additionally, a “sale and rent back” system will be established, giving homeowners who wish to stay in properties the ability to sell their homes but rent it back until they are actually demolished.

The government will also work with local authorities, housing associations and affected tenants to replace lost social rented housing.

Rail minister Simon Burns said: “No major infrastructure project on this scale can be built without some impact on local communities, but I am determined to do everything I can to minimise the effect of HS2 on those closest to the line.”

The package is subject to a period of consultation until 31st January 2013.

Mr Burns continued: “We have thought long and hard about this and the measures I have announced are fair and strike the right balance for local communities and the British taxpayer.”

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