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HS2 in the Midlands

The Government’s HS2 railway development was first proposed in 2010, as a phased series of new high-speed railway lines connecting the north and south of the country.

The programme has been controversial since its inception, and has seen several delays, but is still currently expected to go-ahead with development beginning in earnest in 2020. The line itself is scheduled to be fully operational by 2033.

With one of the new railway lines planned to run directly through Chesterfield, Sheffield and the Midlands, the local area is particularly affected by the programme. The Shimmer Estate, a new build development in South Yorkshire, recently made headlines when residents were informed their homes would need to be demolished only weeks after they moved in, with some houses on the estate still even being under construction.

If you own property or land directly in the path of, or in a close enough proximity to, the proposed line, then the Government will write to you to explain the situation and outline your options. Depending on how close your property is to the HS2 development, there are two potential outcomes:

1) If your property is close enough to the HS2 development that it will require demolition, it will need to be sold to the Government as part of their compulsory purchase programme. Over 900 homes have been sold in this way to-date. Under the programme, the Government will purchase your property from you at its current market value.

2) If your property is not directly in the proposed route for demolition, but is still in a close enough proximity to the HS2 line that it negatively impacts its value, then you may be entitled to compensation for your losses.

Whether you sell your property or claim compensation, both are legal processes requiring the use of a conveyancing solicitor. Fortunately, whatever the outcome, the Government are required to pay for your legal fees, ensuring that there is no cost to yourself.

Alternatively, if you have been trying to sell your property and believe that the proposed HS2 development has made it impossible to find a buyer, then you may be able to apply to sell the property to the Government through their ‘Need to Sell’ scheme. Whilst you would still be liable for your own legal fees and other associated costs in this case, you would receive the full market value of the property, as it would be valued were HS2 not an issue.

Given that we have offices in several areas which are directly affected by the proposed HS2 developments, our conveyancers are very experienced in dealing with all manner of legal work related to the project, such as compulsory purchases, compensation claims and sales through the ‘Need to Sell’ scheme. If you have received a letter from the Government about your property and need to instruct a conveyancer, or have any queries about how HS2 may affect your home, then please do not hesitate to contact us.

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