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It’s the government’s job to protect land that might be needed to build the railway. The land could be used for tracks, tunnels, gas, electric, water and other utility works as well as for planting and flood protection.

The government needs to ensure that land needed for the railway is not built upon without being consulted and this process is called safeguarding.

As the HS2 design develops, the land that is expected to be needed can increase and decrease. This is why we publish updates to the safeguarding mapping from time to time.

Safeguarding does not stop you making a planning application to develop your land, but it does mean that when the councils receive an application they tell HS2 Ltd, on behalf of the government. HS2 Ltd then advise if the planning application would create an issue for the railway that is planned.

Safeguarding helps the government and HS2 Ltd protect the land needed to build and operate the railway from any new development that may make building the railway more costly or difficult.
If your land or building is in an area covered by safeguarding, you could sell your property to us and receive extra compensation – this is called statutory blight.

Safeguarding plans and directions

The Secretary of State for Transport last issued the safeguarding directions for Phase 1 in August 2018, for Phase 2a in June 2020, Phase 2b – Western Leg in October 2020 and for Phase 2b – Eastern Leg in June 2019.

The directions require local planning authorities to consult with HS2 Ltd regarding planning applications within the limits shown, before making a decision on the planning application. Safeguarding directions will be declared by the local planning authority and you will see if they are in place if you are planning to purchase a property. If the search shows your proposed development is within a safeguarded zone, please contact the HS2 Helpdesk for further details.

Planning conditions on developments within safeguarding limits may be applied to protect the Proposed Scheme. Generally, conditions require developers to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Local Planning Authority, that development proposals will not adversely impact the railway.

Safeguarding directions can be found via the links below:

View our safeguarding maps

How do I contact HS2 about my development plans?

HS2 Ltd has published planning to commence or complete developments located within the limits of safeguarding. To speak to someone, ask to be put in contact with the Town Planning team by contacting the helpdesk via:

Freephone: 08081 434 434
Minicom: 08081 456 472
Email: [email protected]
Post: FREEPOST, HS2 Community Engagement