C4: LAND ACQUISITION AND DISPOSAL

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1 HIGH SPEED TWO INFORMATION PAPER C4: LAND ACQUISITION AND DISPOSAL This paper outlines the policy on land acquisition and disposal for Phase One of HS2. It includes the terms on which land may be acquired and the circumstances in which not all the land identified in the limits of deviation may be acquired. It will be of particular interest to those potentially affected by the Government s proposals for high speed rail. This paper will be updated as required. If you have any queries about this paper or about how it might apply to you, please contact the HS2 Public Enquiries desk in the first instance. The Public Enquiries Team can be reached at: by High Speed Two (HS2) Limited 2nd Floor, Eland House Bressenden Place London SW1E 5DU or by Phone: (lines are open Monday to Friday 9am-5pm) Version 1.2 Last updated 7 March

2 C4: LAND ACQUISITION AND DISPOSAL 1. Introduction 1.1. High Speed Two (HS2) is the Government s proposal for a new, high speed north-south railway. The proposal is being taken forward in two phases: Phase One will connect London with Birmingham and the West Midlands; and Phase Two will extend the route to Manchester, Leeds and beyond HS2 Ltd is the non-departmental public body responsible for developing and promoting these proposals. The company works to a remit set by the Secretary of State for Transport. Recently, HS2 Ltd deposited a hybrid Bill 1 with Parliament to seek powers for the construction and operation of Phase One of HS2 (sometimes referred to as the Proposed Scheme ). The Bill is the culmination of nearly five years of work, including an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), the results of which were reported in an Environmental Statement (ES) submitted alongside the Bill. The Secretary of State has also published draft Environmental Minimum Requirements (EMRs), which set out the environmental and sustainability commitments that will be observed in the construction of the Proposed Scheme. The Bill will be promoted through Parliament by the Secretary of State for Transport (the Promoter ). The Secretary of State will also appoint a body responsible for delivering the Proposed Scheme under the powers granted by the Bill. This body is known as the 'nominated undertaker'. There may well be more than one nominated undertaker for example, HS2 Ltd could become the nominated undertaker for the main railway works, while Network Rail could become the nominated undertaker for works to an existing station such as Euston. But whoever they are, all nominated undertakers will be bound by the obligations contained in the Bill and the policies established in the EMRs These information papers have been produced to explain the commitments made in the Bill and the EMRs and how they will be applied to the design and construction of the Proposed Scheme. They also provide information about the Proposed Scheme itself, the powers contained in the Bill and how particular decisions about the project have been reached. 2. Overview 2.1. This information paper outlines the policy on land acquisition and disposal for the Proposed Scheme. It includes the terms on which land may be acquired and the circumstances in which not all the land identified in the limits of deviation may be acquired. 1 The High Speed Rail (London West Midlands) Bill, hereafter the Bill. 2

3 3. Land Acquisition Policy 3.1. The Bill generally includes full land acquisition powers. However, in any individual case, the exercise of these powers will operate on the basis that the Secretary of State will acquire no greater amount of land than appears to him to be reasonably required following detailed design of the scheme The Bill seeks powers for the compulsory acquisition of land within Bill limits. These limits are intended to ensure sufficient flexibility in the detailed design of the scheme. The full extent of land within the limits will not necessarily be acquired. If it should be practicable to acquire a smaller area of land without compromising the Secretary of State's ability to secure the construction and implementation of the project in a timely and economic manner, and it becomes clear not all the land within limits is required, the Secretary of State will not seek to acquire this land and will be prepared to give the necessary assurances to the landowners in question. 4. Compensation 4.1. Payment of compensation for land compulsorily acquired will be in accordance with the general statutory framework incorporated within the Bill (and the general compensation code as interpreted by the Courts and the Upper Tribunal Lands Chamber) The general purpose of the statutory framework is to provide fair compensation for a person whose land has been compulsorily taken. Where applicable, compensation payable will be the open market value of the land acquired (assuming it is sold by a willing seller) plus home loss payments, or basic and occupier's loss payments, disturbance (including stamp duty in relation to replacement property), diminution in value of retained land and other losses arising as a direct and reasonable consequence of the acquisition For further information, see the Department of Communities and Local Government booklet 'Compulsory Purchase and Compensation, Compulsory Purchase Procedure' Worksites and other temporary land requirements 5.1. The Bill generally contains permanent acquisition powers to acquire the freehold interests in worksites due to the length of time they will be occupied Worksites and other temporary land requirements are often formed from a number of different land parcels in different ownership and can be split into two categories: where the nature of the site will not materially change and no new railway works will be constructed on the site. Often these sites can be returned to 3

4 their original use. In these cases, the Secretary of State will normally be willing to agree to acquire lesser rights; and where the nature of the site will materially change through demolition of existing buildings or construction of railway works on the site the freehold interest will be acquired In considering the question of material change the Secretary of State will apply the approach set out in the Crichel Down Rules (see Part 2 of the Memorandum to ODPM Circular 06/20042) Once it is no longer required for construction, a worksite or other temporary land requirement that has been permanently acquired will normally be offered back to the original owners at market value in line with the Land Disposal policy (see section 9 below). 6. Rural landowners and occupiers 6.1. Compensation payable on the compulsory acquisition of interests in agricultural land is assessed in accordance with the principles of the general compensation code which includes special agricultural provisions. Because the impacts that the Proposed Scheme will have on agricultural holdings will vary depending on the size of the holding, activities on the land and the nature of the business, HS2 Ltd intends to work with the farmers and landowners to understand the effect that the Proposed Scheme will have on their business and to work together to reduce its impacts. Further information is in the, Information Paper C2 Rural Landowners and Occupiers Guide. 7. Business relocations Businesses displaced by the Proposed Scheme will be fully compensated within the provisions of the compulsory purchase legislation. The Secretary of State recognises the importance of the business being able to relocate from one premises to another in as smooth as process as possible. It is in the interests of both the business owner/occupier and the Promoter to limit the impact of the project on businesses to avoid or reduce claims for compensation. Close contacts will be developed with the business owner, property agents, landowners, developers and local authorities to reduce the impacts on the business operations and to negotiate an appropriate solution. 8. Utilities 8.1. Where rights over land only are required for utilities diversions, although the Bill provides for powers to acquire the freehold of the land outright, the Secretary of State is prepared to consider acquiring a lesser right where this is appropriate. 9. Land Disposal Policy general approach 9.1. The key elements of the Land Disposal policy are set out below. 4

5 9.2. The Secretary of State will normally offer surplus property, acquired under compulsory powers, back to the former owner at market value, except: where the works have materially changed its character; where the site is needed for railway purposes or associated redevelopment or regeneration; where the site is required for environmental mitigation, including the provision of replacement of community facilities or wildlife habitats; where former owners will not comply with undertakings; where the site is too small to dispose of; or where it makes sense to pool the land with adjoining ownerships The interpretation of materially changed will follow the approach set out in the Crichel Down Rules (see Part 2 of the Memorandum to ODPM Circular 06/20042). In deciding how and when to dispose of surplus land, the Secretary of State will also be guided by the following principles: The proper completion and operation in the public interest of the works as authorised by the Bill; The paramount requirement to protect the future safe and efficient operation of the railway; The need to fulfil any undertaking given by the Secretary of State in respect of the Bill or comply with any legal obligations to which he is subject; The need to secure in the public interest the carrying out of development or redevelopment associated with the works, in accordance with the planning, environmental and heritage considerations applicable to the sites affected; and The need for the land disposal to achieve the best value reasonably obtainable in so far as this is consistent with the principles outlined above The policy and powers on land acquisition and disposal seek to strike the right balance between ensuring the project is implemented successfully and the interests of affected property owners. 10. More information More detail on the Bill and related documents can be found at: 5

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