I like to keep Hinterland readers up to date with the unfolding of the HS2 story. I have always felt that infrastructure compensation is poorly conceived and implemented. I do sometimes struggle to see what these proposals offer to rural England. It is clear they will have a physically disruptive impact on rural dwellers close to the line – will the city benefits (to London, Birmingham and beyond) cancel out any rural inconvenience? The story tells us:

Homeowners living closest to the proposed route of HS2 will be able to sell their property to the government on improved terms in an express purchase scheme launched on Wednesday. mollified

The scheme, which will pay people living within 60 metres of the high-speed rail line 110% of their property’s unblighted market value plus expenses, is part of a revised compensation and assistance package announced after a public consultation.

Other measures immediately available include a “rent-back” scheme for residents who want to sell but remain in their homes.

Owner-occupiers up to 120 metres from the line will be able to sell to the government at full unblighted market value up to a year after trains start running, or receive a cash payment of 10% of the value of their home if they do not want to move.

A “need-to-sell” scheme, for homeowners anywhere near the route who need to move for work or health reasons but cannot find buyers due to HS2, will replace the current, narrower emergency hardship scheme.

Further compensation to rural homeowners living 120 to 300 metres from the line remains under consideration, with potential payments of £7,500 to £22,500.

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