A report on HS2 published on 26 March by a committee of influential MPs has supported the CLA’s campaign for changes to the out-dated compulsory purchase system.
The First Special Report from the HS2 Select Committee details recommendations based on the evidence the committee has heard to date from people affected by the scheme. The CLA, which represents landowners, farmers and rural businesses, has been campaigning for reform to the compulsory purchase system and gave evidence to the Committee last year.
CLA President Henry Robinson said: “This report reflects the success of CLA’s ongoing work to promote the interests of members affected by HS2. It has recommended “earlier and better” liaison with landowners. Many farmers and landowners have felt ignored by HS2 Ltd, and although it is too late to turn the clock back lessons should be learned for the coming months, and then for Phase 2.
“The report also highlights the problems that rural businesses face in securing planning permission to replace buildings demolished under compulsory purchase. Last week the Planning Minister announced that he is writing to every local planning authority along Phase One to encourage a positive approach to allowing replacement buildings, and the CLA will be pressing for local authorities to follow this guidance.”
The report also highlights the unfairness of the impacts of the current Capital Gains Tax (CGT) and Inheritance Tax (IHT) regime on owners of land or property subject to Compulsory Purchase Orders for HS2.
Mr Robinson said: “The Chairman of the Committee wrote to HM Treasury asking for action and it is time that the Treasury admits the taxation system as it relates to compulsory purchase is broken. Reform should be instituted immediately to ensure that those already suffering as a result of HS2 do not suffer a further battle with Government on tax.”
The First Special Report from the HS2 Bill Select Committee can be found at http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201415/cmselect/cmhs2/338/338.pdf
The CLA statement on the Planning Minister’s letter for Phase One planning authorities regarding replacement buildings can be found here
The CLA statement on the Select Committee’s letter to HM Treasury regarding taxation reform can be found here