HS2 'is likely to lower the value of up to 170,000 homes'

 

The value of more than 40,000 homes – and possibly as many as 170,000 – could be hit by the proposed new HS2 rail line, yet ministers are proposing to compensate fewer than 2,000 owners, campaigners have warned.

The extent of the potential property blight from the high-speed line linking London and Birmingham can be disclosed as opponents challenge the £34bn scheme this Monday at the High Court. The controversial 140-mile line, Britain's biggest new infrastructure project, will slice through the Chiltern Hills to the north-west of London.

Activists from the HS2 Action Alliance (HS2AA) have discovered through a Freedom of Information request that there are 43,000 homes at risk of property blight – meaning they are likely to drop in value or become hard to sell because of the scheme.

These are houses within 500 metres of the line in rural areas, within 150 metres of the line in urban areas, or within 150 metres of a tunnel. Campaigners claim that the true total of blighted properties may be very much higher – as there are 172,000 homes within a kilometre of the line, or within 250 metres of a tunnel.

But the Government is proposing to purchase at market price only 1,914 properties which lie within 120 metres either side of the centre-line of the route, including 338 which are in its direct path and will have to be bought and demolished. Anyone else affected will have to apply for compensation through the HS2 long-term hardship scheme, the criteria of which are so stringent, campaigners believe, that no more than 500 to 600 properties may qualify.

"Yet it is not unreasonable to assume that at a minimum, the value of all those 43,000 homes within 500 metres of the line will have been significantly affected," HS2AA director Hilary Wharf told The Independent yesterday. "And, of course, many more will also have been affected among the 172,000 lying within a kilometre. We believe anybody who has lost value in their property should be compensated."

Her organisation has written to the Transport Secretary, Patrick McLoughlin, asking him if the Department for Transport has any more detailed information on the extent of HS2 property blight, and if not, to research it.

Today's major legal challenge comes from opponents who are attempting to derail the project. Several separate requests for a judicial review of the decision to go ahead with HS2 are being made in the High Court in London. If they are successful, the Government may have to run its consultation process again, potentially delaying the project by up to two years. Two of the challenges are being brought by HS2AA, while others come from 51m – an alliance of councils – the Heathrow Hub group and Aylesbury Golf Club.

A Department for Transport spokesman said: "The Government is confident that the decisions on HS2 have been taken lawfully and fairly and it is vigorously defending these legal challenges."

News
peoplePaper attempts to defend itself
Voices
voicesWe desperately need men to be feminists too
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Account Executive/Sales Consultant – Permanent – Hertfordshire - £16-£20k

£16500 - £20000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: We are currently r...

KS2 PPA Teacher needed (Mat Cover)- Worthing!

£100 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Crawley: KS2 PPA Teacher currently nee...

IT Systems Manager

£40000 - £45000 per annum + pension, healthcare,25 days: Ashdown Group: An est...

IT Application Support Engineer - Immediate Start

£28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Software Application Support Analyst - Imm...

Day In a Page

Syria air strikes: ‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings

Robert Fisk on Syria air strikes

‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings
Will Lindsay Lohan's West End debut be a turnaround moment for her career?

Lindsay Lohan's West End debut

Will this be a turnaround moment for her career?
'The Crocodile Under the Bed': Judith Kerr's follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

The follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

Judith Kerr on what inspired her latest animal intruder - 'The Crocodile Under the Bed' - which has taken 46 years to get into print
BBC Television Centre: A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past

BBC Television Centre

A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past
Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum