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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 starts 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.

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.

Settlement Deeds

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 ground 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.

There have recently 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 also know how to limit the effects of this movement on buildings. In the majority of instances, 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.

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.

It provides a personal legal undertaking from us. Property owners do not have to enter into a Settlement Deed unless they choose to. Our obligations to the property owner remain unchanged. You can apply for a Settlement Deed if your building is 30m or less from the outer edge of our tunnels or retained cutting shafts or boxes.

We are currently reviewing our policy on ground settlement. When this has been completed more information will appear on this page. In the meantime if you have any questions, please contact our helpline:
Email: HS2enquiries@hs2.org.uk
Freephone: 08081 434 434
Minicom: 08081 456 472
If you would like to pre-register for a Settlement Deed please email HS2SettlementDeeds@hs2.org.uk.

Aerial view of an interchange station.

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.

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