Compulsory purchase reform vital to give fair compensation to rural areas hit by HS2, says CLA.

06 November 2013

The CLA today (10 January) said the Government's decision to forge ahead with the High Speed Two (HS2) rail line between London and the Midlands and North must include reform of compulsory purchase laws to give fair compensation to owners of homes, land and businesses along the route.

The Association is launching a campaign calling on the Government to radically reform compensation deals to ensure a fair price is paid to the many rural residential and business properties affected.

CLA President Harry Cotterell said: "We are launching this campaign because current compulsory purchase orders (CPOs) do not provide adequate protection for property owners when the State has to acquire private land or property without consent for a project such as HS2.

"Much of the work on reform has been done by previous governments but has not been implemented. Instead, they have offered a mere 10 percent extra in compensation to those affected by major infrastructure projects, and failing to fix the unfairness of CPO procedures or take steps to address blight to land and properties."

Mr Cotterell said the Association was urging the Transport Secretary to order an immediate and comprehensive review of compulsory purchase law for all private acquisitions and to commit to including legally binding provisions in the Act required for developing the HS2 line.

He said CLA lobbying on this issue had already helped persuade Government to promise more mitigation measures in HS2 including a £500million tunnel for part of the line.

The CLA President added: "A fair compensation package must include a duty of care, compensation for early access and a Bond Scheme to address blight. It is also good for the developer in the long run because fair compensation tends to reduce public opposition to projects.

"An independent assessor is needed for people affected by HS2 to ensure the acquisition and construction is conducted fairly."

Read more about the CLA's work on compulsory purchase