The government have published an improved compensation and assistance package for property owners close to the HS2 route.
The proposed route between London and Birmingham could affect residents in Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire.
But after feedback and suggestions, compensation for those affected has been re-examined and revised.
Elements of the improved package that will be available from today include:
- Express Purchase Scheme
This is being launched for owner-occupiers of properties closest to the line (generally within 60 metres of it, known as the 'safeguarded area') Under this scheme, the government could buy properties at the full unblighted market value, plus 10% (up to £47,000) and reasonable moving expenses, including stamp duty.
- Rent-Back Scheme
This will be available to those who want to sell their properties (under any of the schemes being announced) but carry-on living where they are, may be able to do so
- Exceptional Hardship Scheme
This option is for people who have an urgent need to sell their house but are unable to do so because of HS2. The government has already bought 114 properties at a cost of around £67 million from owner-occupiers living near the route.
Other intended schemes the government plan to role out later this year include:
- Voluntary Purchase Scheme
This will be available at the end of the year for those in rural areas, outside of the 'safeguarded' area and up to 120 metres away from the line. Eligible owners will be able to apply to sell their property for its full unblighted market value.
- Cash Payment Scheme
This is an alternative for those that don't want to take the Voluntary Purchase Scheme. If they do not want to move, they could be able to get 10% of the value of their home (from a proposed minimum of £30,000 to a maximum of £100,000)
- Need to Sell Scheme
This scheme considers applications to buy properties at full, unblighted market value from owner-occupiers who have a compelling need to sell, such as job relocation or ill health, but are unable to do so because of the HS2 plans. This scheme does not have a boundary. This scheme should be in place by the end of 2014 and will replace the Exceptional Hardship Scheme.
- Homeowner Payment Scheme
This scheme will entitle owner-occupiers to a cash payment if they live between 120 metres and 300 metres from the line in rural areas. The payments could be from £7,500 to £22,500, depending on how close the route is to the property. This would come into affect if the HS2 route between London and the Midlands is approved.