Safeguarding directions for High Speed 2 Phase 2a

23 Jun 2020 03:19 PM

Statement given yesterday on the progress of the Phase 2a Bill through Parliament and publication of revised safeguarding directions for the whole of the Phase 2a route.

Motions to revive the High Speed Rail (West Midlands – Crewe) Bill, known as the Phase 2a Bill, have now been passed in each House, and the Bill was re-introduced on Tuesday 3 March. I look forward to the progression of the Bill as it nears its final stages.

I am today publishing revised safeguarding directions for the whole of the Phase 2a route. These safeguarding directions reflect the amendments (and therefore land requirements) that have been made to the hybrid Bill by the House of Commons as it passed through the Select Committee.

Through these revised safeguarding directions, the government has protected land that we anticipate at this stage will be needed to build Phase 2a of HS2 and where there may otherwise be a risk of conflicting development.

Planning restrictions put in place following the issue of previous safeguarding directions have been removed where we no longer expect to need that land.

Crucially, issuing revised safeguarding directions gives people affected more clarity on the route and allows eligible property owners to access statutory blight compensation.

Under the statutory blight regime, qualifying property owners are able to apply to sell their home or small business to the government from the time that their property is subject to safeguarding directions.

In addition to statutory blight compensation, the government has implemented a package of non-statutory property compensation schemes that go above and beyond what is required by law. The schemes are open to qualifying property owners across the 3 phases of the HS2 route including Phase 2a. They will be in place until 1 year after each phase of HS2 is operational.

I want to ensure that those living near the route receive the right support at all stages of the project and that those affected are properly compensated and treated with compassion, dignity and respect.

Copies of these safeguarding directions will be laid in both Libraries of the House.