As residents along the line-of-route in South Northants will know, I continue to do everything I can to support those affected by the construction and operation of the new railway, including in areas of property compensation.
Today, the Department for Transport has published its report following the review of the non-statutory property schemes for HS2 and, whilst broadly concluding that the policy and scope of existing HS2 property schemes, as they have been designed and implemented, continue to meet their objectives, there are several specific policy changes that the Department is proposing to bring forward.
to uplift fixed Homeowner payments with inflation at Royal Assent of relevant hybrid Bills;
to extend the boundaries of rural zoned schemes in areas where the HS2 track footprint widens;
to enable more formal consideration by the Need To Sell (NTS) panel and decision maker of a significant change in the predicted impact of HS2 where a cash offer has already been accepted; and
to introduce a new methodology to enable the Government to pay an adjusted price where appropriate where a case is accepted under the NTS Scheme but the No Prior Knowledge criterion is not met.
I have written back to the Minister on behalf of local residents to clarify what impact the changes will have for those in Phase 1, particularly on the uplift in value of the homeowner payments and the extension of the boundaries of the rural support zone.
I continue to meet regularly with the County Council, District Council, and affected Parish Councils through the South Northants HS2 Liaison Group that I set up some years ago, and I am working closely with a number of constituents on specific issues relating to their properties, as well as wider road network concerns across the area.
As ever, please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of any assistance on this or any other matter.