HOMEOWNERS close to the proposed HS2 rail line are being offered new compensation options.
From today (April 9) the government is offering to buy the most affected properties – generally within 60 metres of the line – at their current value, plus 10 per cent.
It will also cover all ‘reasonable’ moving expenses including stamp duty and legal charges.
A ‘rent-back’ option is available for those who want to sell their homes at their unblighted value, but continue living where they are.
It is estimated 510 properties between London and Birmingham fall within the ‘surface safeguarded area’, around 300 of which will need to be knocked down.
Today’s announcement by the Department for Transport also included proposals for those living further from the route, which will now be subject to a public consultation.
If approved later this year, those owning properties between 60-120m away could apply to sell their home at current values or, for those not wishing to move, take a cash payment worth 10 per cent of its price, up to a maximum of £100,000.
Payments would also be available to homeowners living between 120-300m from the line. Depending on the precise locations these would range from £7,500 to £22,500.
People with an urgent need to sell their homes because of reasons such as ill-health, but are unable to do so because of the HS2 proposals, will still be able to apply for a government purchase at full market value.
More than 100 properties have been bought under the ‘exceptional hardship scheme’ so far.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin, said: “I completely understand the concerns and anxieties of those living near the line and it is only right that those people are properly looked after.
“I believe this package of compensation and assistance will enable us to help people more. But I want to get it absolutely right, so I am asking for further views on some aspects before we finalise the plans.
If it goes ahead, the high speed line would cut through the heart of rural Warwickshire including Cubbington, Kenilworth and Southam.