HS2 compensation is nowhere near what should be expected
Over the last two and a half years the KWN has reported the developing HS2 story with professionalism, aware of the scheme’s effect on the South Warwickshire environment and the direct impact on many local residents, but offering a platform to a variety of people with differing views. After reading the front page of last week’s edition concerning the Government’s compensation proposals (‘Payback time’) I was left with the feeling that on this occasion the KWN had been a little too ready to swallow the press releases of the DfT and HS2 Ltd.
The very title seemed to suggest that residents had won some sort of victory. The sub heading “Compensation packages for those affected by HS2 have been announced” might have made more sense if it had said “Compensation packages for some of those affected by HS2 have been announced”.
The second sub heading “Government says the payouts go ‘significantly beyond’ expected levels” was more misleading. In fairness to Simon Burns the minister involved I believe he said “significantly beyond statutory requirements”. Whether the “significantly” part of that statement is true is a debatable point but the overall package does not go anywhere near expected levels.
Whilst the package is comprehensive in terms of the number of strands to it, many of these overlap, and the key point is that anyone who lives more than 120 metres from the middle of the line is unlikely to be eligible for any compensation at all.
This is regardless of the impact of property blight, disruption during construction, noise or anything else. Previously ministers had repeatedly said that compensation would be fair and full and that HS2 was such an important national infrastructure project that no one should need to lose out.
A Property Compensation Bond scheme that was mooted in the main HS2 Consultation last year has been quietly dropped. Presumably the Government fears it would just be too expensive and Mr Burns implied as much when he claimed the package struck the right balance between the interest of communities and taxpayers. If the Government cannot afford fair compensation you have to wonder if it can afford HS2 at all. - Martin Halliday, Arborfields Close, Kenilworth.
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Kenilworth
Sunday 19 May 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 15 mph
Wind direction: North east
Temperature: 10 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 17 mph
Wind direction: North