The route of the High Speed 2 project has been safeguarded from future development which might conflict with the planned line, it has been announced.
Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin said the move was an “important milestone” for homeowners on the route and for planning, showing the government’s determination to deliver a “once-in-a-generation” growth opportunity.
The line of the route will be protected from all construction that conflicts with the government’s plans for the railway.
Sections of the route in both Bromford and Ealing have not yet been safeguarded, pending a decision on whether tunnels should be bored in these locations.
The move will allow people living within around 120 m to approach the government to buy their property, under “blight” procedures.
Successful applicants will receive the open market value of their property, plus 10 per cent up to £47,000, and moving costs.
Mr McLoughlin said: “HS2 is moving from the drawing board towards construction. Safeguarding is an important milestone for homeowners and for planning purposes.
“I understand the distress of those who live along the line of route and can assure people that we will process claims to purchase their property swiftly so that those who qualify can move as quickly as possible.
“In the meantime we will also continue purchasing properties of those in exceptional hardship ahead of consulting on a comprehensive package of long-term discretionary compensation measures.”
Before the safeguarding move, the only mechanism through which government was buying properties near the proposed line was the Exceptional Hardship Scheme for owner-occupiers with an urgent need to sell.
The government says it wanted to introduce a compensation scheme “more generous than the law requires.”