I am today publishing supplementary information regarding the consultation on an Exceptional Hardship Scheme for phase two of High Speed Two. I am also extending the Exceptional Hardship Scheme consultation period until 20 May 2013.
On 28 January I announced the government’s initial preferred route, station and depot options for phase two of HS2. Alongside this I set out for consultation an Exceptional Hardship Scheme (EHS). The EHS is intended to enable owner-occupiers whose property has reduced in value as a result of the route announcement - and who can demonstrate a need to sell their property - to sell it to the government at its full un-blighted market value.
We always welcome feedback on our proposals for HS2 and in response to some such feedback we have decided to publish further information to supplement the consultation document that we published in January.
The additional information we are publishing consists of:
- summary of the more significant feedback that we have received on the operation of the Exceptional Hardship Scheme that is already in place for phase one of HS2, and our responses to those points
- data about the operation of the EHS for phase one
- a study of property blight around the phase one route in the 6 months immediately following the announcement of the proposed route
We are also taking the opportunity to clarify some of the terminology used in the consultation document; and about how the scheme’s criteria are applied.
We have published this information on HS2 Ltd’s website and will be making printed copies of this information widely available in libraries, Citizens’ Advice Bureaux and at local authority customer service departments along the line of route for phase two. We will also advertise it in newspapers. HS2 Ltd will be writing to those who have already responded to this consultation to make them aware of this additional information and the extension of the deadline for responding to the consultation. I have placed a copy in the house Libraries.
The government is committed to delivering a compensation scheme that is fair and appropriate both to those directly affected by HS2 and to taxpayers. We have been clear all along that we want to get compensation to the people who need it as quickly as possible and this remains our intention.
Subject to the outcome of this consultation, it is still our intention to have an Exceptional Hardship Scheme in place for phase two in the summer of this year.