Further to our previous Blog about the options available if your property will be affected by HS2, there has been further news in the press about delays in compensation being provided when due.
The National Audit Office (NAO) has published a report on its investigation into the acquisition by High Speed 2 (HS2) Ltd of land and property for Phase One (London to Birmingham) of its rail programme, due to open in 2026.
The NAO found that, while HS2 Ltd’s systems for land acquisition have improved since 2015, there are still issues with home and landowners being provided with any compensation due in a timely manner.
The investigation was opened following concerns that HS2 Ltd had underestimated their costs; that governance and assurance around the estimate and the land and property function was weak and that HS2 Ltd did not have the capability or capacity to deliver the land and property acquisition programme; and that HS2 Ltd was failing to make payments to landowners on time.
The NAO concluded that, while HS2 Ltd has made efforts to improve functions since 2015, more work was needed to ensure tenants are receiving timely compensation when they are due an advance payment – for more information about the compensation scheme and whether your property might be affected including the different compensation options available go to – https://www.gov.uk/claim-compensation-if-affected-by-hs2.
It said that while HS2’s estimate of the cost of both land and property had significantly increased over the last few years, cost estimates are commonly subject to change, and HS2 Ltd’s current estimate is both within its agreed HM Treasury budget and provides a reasonable basis from which it can monitor potential costs.
We must say the NAO’s findings are not typical of our experience with dealing with HS2 compensation claims – in the past we have advised several clients regarding their individual situations so have strong experience processing such claims. We have found that the claims we have dealt with have progressed and been concluded in a timely fashion. If you would like to receive advice and assistance in connection with a HS2 compensation claim please do not hesitate to get in touch.