On 28 January 2013 the Government announced the “preferred route” of Phase 2 of HS2 running from Birmingham to Leeds. The formal public consultation on the route was launched on 17 July 2013 and closes on 31 January 2014. A final announcement by the Government on the preferred route is expected by the end of 2014.
The proposed route will have a significant impact on a number of land owners, occupiers and businesses. Those who are likely to be affected should engage with the Department for Transport, HS2 Limited and other business organisations at as high a level as possible in order to influence the informal consultation. It may be worthwhile for affected parties to co-operate with other businesses and land owners who are in a similar position, where revisions to the route are being sought.
The planning and compulsory purchase powers required for the HS2 Phase 2 scheme will come forward in a Hybrid Act of Parliament. Those objecting to the scheme will have an opportunity to petition the Hybrid Bill as it progresses through Parliament. It is likely that the Hybrid Act will incorporate existing compulsory purchase legislation relating to compensation. A general principle relating to compensation is that of “equivalence” ie the party whose land is being acquired should be no worse off in financial terms after the acquisition.
For certain land owners, the exceptional hardship scheme may apply, however, many businesses will fall outside the relevant criteria.
The HS2 proposals may have a significant impact on those businesses affected over the next few years. It is important that those affected engage in the process.
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