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Find out if your home is affected

People who live in or own property near the High Speed Two route could be affected by the project. It’s important to get the facts, find out where you stand, and know how HS2 Ltd can help.

The first phase of the new HS2 railway, between London and the West Midlands, is expected to be open by 2026. Initial construction work started in 2018, upon approval of the route by Parliament. In addition, a route for part of Phase Two, from the West Midlands to Crewe, has been announced. That section is planned to be open by 2027, with initial construction expected to start in 2020, if Parliament approves the plans.

The rest of Phase Two, towards Manchester and Leeds, will be considered by Parliament separately and is planned to be open by 2033. Importantly, the new HS2 railway will integrate with the existing railway network, including the West Coast and East Coast Mainlines.

How your home is affected depends on the location of your property and which phase of HS2 affects you. You can use our interactive map to explore the route. You can also contact our 24/7 Helpdesk to find out precise location information for your property in relation to the route.

Safeguarding and statutory blight

Safeguarding is a planning tool to help the Government and HS2 Ltd protect the land needed to build and operate the railway from conflicting development.

The aim of safeguarding is not to prevent development in the area surrounding the line of route but to ensure that no conflict is created. As well as helping to protect the land needed to build and operate the railway, the safeguarding directions also trigger something known as ‘Statutory Blight’. This means that property owners within the safeguarded area may be eligible to serve a Blight Notice asking the Secretary of State for Transport to buy their property prior to it being needed for construction.

Ground settlement

HS2 is undertaking a range of underground works including tunnelling, building shafts and constructing cuttings. HS2 has made commitments to you which are explained in Information Paper C3 on the Government’s website as to how we will address any settlement arising from these works.

We are currently reviewing our policy and process on ground settlement. When this has been completed more information will appear on this page.

In the meantime you can pre-register your interest for a settlement deed. A settlement deed is a formal legal agreement between a property owner potentially affected by settlement and HS2.

Further detail about what settlement deeds are, how to find out if your property may be eligible and how to pre-register for one is outlined below.

What is a deed?

Deeds are a type of written legal agreement. Examples of documents that need to be deeds are mortgages, wills and certain business agreements.

What is settlement?

Settlement is the technical term given to the way the ground moves around a hole after it has been dug out. Building tunnels, shafts and basements can cause a small amount of movement to the ground.

We also know how to limit the effects of this movement on buildings. In the majority of cases, settlement does not cause damage to properties. In some cases there may be small cracks in plaster, and in a few cases doors or windows may stick. In very rare instances, settlement can affect the structure of the building.

In recent years there have been a number of large projects that have involved tunnelling in built up areas. These include the Eurostar High Speed line, London Underground extensions and London’s Crossrail. These projects have assisted our understanding about how the ground can move when tunnels are built.

We will try to create as little settlement as we can. We will do this by using modern tunnelling methods used on recent projects. For sensitive buildings we may install real time monitoring of ground movements or undertake ground stabilisation prior to construction.

What is a settlement deed?

A settlement deed is a formal legal agreement between the property owner potentially affected by settlement and HS2. A property owner is someone who has a legal responsibility for the property, usually the freeholder or leaseholder.

It provides a legal undertaking from us. Property owners do not have to enter into a settlement deed unless you choose to as HS2 is responsible for any damage caused to your house as a result of our works.

When do you need to register for a settlement deed?

We are committed to giving property owners sufficient time to make an application for settlement deeds, ahead of beginning our tunnelling works.

Phase One

Tunnel boring activity is not due to start until Autumn 2020 for Phase One of the route from London to Birmingham.

You can pre-register for a settlement deed today. Once you are pre-registered, we will contact you with more information on the formal settlement deeds registration process later this year. We will ensure we give you sufficient time to make your application, ahead of beginning our tunnelling works. Once you have made a formal application we will assess whether you meet the eligibility requirements for a settlement deed. As an indication, based on experience of other tunnelling projects, if your property is more than 30m away from our works it is unlikely to be at risk of settlement. If you are not sure how close your property is to our works, please contact the HS2 Helpdesk.

Phase Two

As parliamentary permission to build this part of the route has not yet been given, there is no need to pre-register for a settlement deed if you live near the proposed route of either Phase 2a (West Midlands to Crewe) or Phase 2b (Crewe to Manchester, and the West Midlands to Leeds).

How to pre-register your interest in a settlement deed

You can pre-register you interest for a settlement deed by contacting our HS2 Helpdesk team, all day, every day:

Email: HS2enquiries@hs2.org.uk
Freephone: 08081 434 434
Minicom: 08081 456 4726

When pre-registering you will be asked to provide your name, the address of the property in question, an email address and telephone number. Please note some correspondence may also be by letter.

Our property schemes

Express purchase

If you own and live in a property that is very close to the line of route and is in the designated ‘surface safeguarding area’, you could apply for it to be purchased.

Safeguarding is a process that protects the land potentially required for HS2 from any conflicting developments.

Rural support zone

There are payment and purchase schemes for people who live up to 120 metres from the line of route (where not covered by safeguarding). They are available where the railway would be in a rural area and on the surface, not in a tunnel.

Homeowner payment scheme

There will be cash payments for people who own and live in properties in the homeowner payment zone, which is typically up to 300 metres from the line of route, next to the rural support zone. The scheme will be launched as and when HS2 routes are approved by Parliament. It will be available where the railway would be in a rural area and on the surface, not in a tunnel.

Need to sell

A purchase scheme for people who have a compelling reason to sell their property, but can’t do so – other than at a significantly reduced price – because of HS2. There is no geographical boundary for this scheme.

Apply for property assistance schemes

Visit the How to apply for assistance section, if your home is affected by HS2.