Prop­erty com­pen­sa­tion scheme is ‘no dif­fer­ent’

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS -

CAM­PAIGN­ERS have crit­i­cised a new prop­erty com­pen­sa­tion scheme de­signed to help more peo­ple af­fected by HS2.

Trans­port sec­re­tary Pa­trick McLough­lin an­nounced the new pack­age on Fri­day last week.

It means that peo­ple and busi­nesses be­tween 60 and 120 me­tres from the line in ru­ral ar­eas can sub­mit an ap­pli­ca­tion to HS2 Ltd to pur­chase their prop­erty at the full, un-blighted value.

The plans have been an­nounced fol­low­ing a con­sul­ta­tion, and re­places the pre­vi­ous Ex­cep­tional Hard­ship Scheme.

It now means that peo­ple who are not go­ing to be im­me­di­ately af­fected by HS2, but may be in the fu­ture, can ap­ply for the com­pen­sa­tion.

A res­i­dents’ char­ter has also been launched which is de­signed to make sure that peo­ple af­fected by the line are treated fairly and are fully com­mu­ni­cated with dur­ing the build­ing

A new scheme to help those ef­fected by HS2 has been crit­i­cised by cam­paign­ers process.

Mr McLough­lin said: “This com­pre­hen­sive pack­age of com­pen­sa­tion and as­sis­tance is look­ing after those peo­ple who live along the HS2 route while bal­anc­ing our re­spon­si­bil­i­ties to the tax­payer.

“Peo­ple at the heart of this vi­tal new rail­way will also ben­e­fit from HS2 Ltd’s new res­i­dents’ char­ter and the ap­point­ment of the res­i­dents’ com­mis­sioner, who will en­sure that the com­mit­ments in the char­ter are up­held.”

How­ever, cam­paign­ers against the line do not be­lieve the scheme dif­fers enough from pre­vi­ous com­pen­sa­tion plans.

Chair­man of Stop HS2, Penny Gaines, said: “There was a lot of ‘we’ve lis­tened to what you say, but we’re ig­nor­ing it’ in the doc­u­ment.

“It’s quite clear that this was just another faux con­sul­ta­tion aimed at mak­ing the gov­ern­ment look like it was lis­ten­ing to what peo­ple had to say with no in­ten­tion to make any changes to their plans.”

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