Express Purchase Scheme

You can sell your property to the government through the Express Purchase Scheme if either:

  • your house or 25% of the total area of your property is inside the area marked ‘surface safeguarding’ on the ‘safeguarding maps’
  • your property was in the safeguarding area (called the ‘Extended Homeowner Protection Zone’) but has since been removed - check with HS2 whether you qualify

You can still apply to sell your property with a ‘blight notice’ if you do not qualify for Express Purchase - but the government will only buy your property if it’s needed for the construction of HS2.

Who can apply

You must be the owner occupier of a residential, agricultural or commercial property, or their ‘personal representative’ if they’ve died, for example the executor of their will.

Mortgage lenders (for example banks and building societies) in vacant possession of a qualifying property can apply.

Your commercial property will not qualify for Express Purchase or under a blight notice if it has a rateable value of £36,000 or more (£44,200 inside Greater London).

An owner occupier must:

  • be the freeholder or a leaseholder with at least 3 years left on the lease
  • be living in or running a business from the property or have done so for at least 6 months in the last 18 months if the property’s currently empty

You can get advice from a chartered surveyor about your eligibility.

Read full guidance on eligibility.

What you’ll get

If you qualify the government will:

  • buy your property at its open market value as if HS2 was not going to be being built (known as ‘unblighted’ value)
  • give you a ‘home loss’ payment equal to 10% of the property’s open market value (up to £63,000)
  • pay reasonable expenses, for example stamp duty, surveyors’ and legal fees, and removal costs


You must complete the correct blight notice to apply for Express Purchase.

You must include original or certified copies of:

  • proof of ownership, for example Land Registry title
  • proof the property was occupied for 6 months of the last 18 months, for example utility bills covering at least 6 months
  • business rates bills, if you’re applying for a commercial property
  • plans of the property, for example Land Registry plans showing the property boundaries
  • proof of representation, if applicable, for example power of attorney

If you’re sending a blight notice but do not qualify for Express Purchase, include a description of what you’ve done to sell the property, for example copies of correspondence with estate agents.

Email your completed application to HS2 with your supporting documents.

HS2 compensation applications

You can also send your notice and supporting evidence by registered post.

Secretary of State for Transport
c/o High Speed Two (HS2) Limited
Land and Property Team
Two Snowhill
B4 6GA

What happens next

You’ll get a decision on your application within 2 months.

You have up to 3 years to accept the offer if your application’s accepted.


Follow HS2’s complaints procedure if you want to complain about the service you received, for example about how long it took to reach a decision on your application or the result.