Tunnels and Compensation

The government have announced (Nov 2013) a series of measures for homes above tunnels. These have not changed or been consulted on since.

These include before and after surveys and settlement deeds. There is also a £50 payment for subsoil. After the HS2 line has operated for 1 year you may be eligible to apply for Part 1 Compensation for impacts from vibration etc. Anyone affected by HS2 will be able to apply for this.

We believe that homeowners in tunnelled areas are not eligble for any of the other compensation deals. But we have been advised that all applications to the exceptional hardship scheme are dealt with on a case-by-case basis so this could be an option to explore.

The government summarises the package of measures that will be available to those living above or near to HS2 tunnels in this document.

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Following the government’s loss of a Judicial Review in March 2013, the latest Consultation Compensation states:

“Tunnels and social housing
2.5.8  The 2012-13 consultation on property compensation included proposals for property
schemes relating to tunnelled sections of the HS2 route and proposals for the
Government’s approach to replacing lost social housing.

2.5.9  These proposals do not fall within the Government’s undertaking to consult again on
property compensation. The Government will shortly announce its final decisions with
regard to properties above tunnels and social housing.”

Therefore we expect an announcement on tunnels and compensation in the coming months but would encourage those above or near tunnels to respond to the consultation using our postcards which highlight how unfair it is to exclude tunnelled areas from the proposed schemes.

In January 2012 the DfT published the following on Compensation:

If your home is above a tunnel:
44    Many respondents expressed concerns about the possible effects of tunnels on the people and properties above them. Some asked about why properties above tunnels had been excluded from the Exceptional Hardship Scheme (EHS) while others were unhappy about what they saw as the risk of vibration and/or settlement.
45    HS2 Ltd has already published some technical information in support of its view that perceptible vibration impacts can be avoided.
46    The Government has already committed to undertaking before and after surveys of properties above tunnels in order to reassure residents and make good any problems that do arise. But the Government agrees that more can be done both to reassure existing residents, and to reassure the property market, that any fears about HS2 tunnels are unfounded.
47    The Government therefore proposes a package of measures to reinforce confidence in properties above tunnels:
•    Publishing a clear, thorough and fully-evidenced assessment of the UK’s recent history of building such tunnels, the actual impacts that these have had on the properties and people above them, and the measures that will be taken to ensure that perceptible vibration impacts can be avoided;
•    Publishing further details on how the ‘before and after’ surveys would work, including who would be eligible; and
•    Introducing a system of ‘settlement documents’ to provide owners of properties above tunnels with a legally binding confirmation that HS2 will be responsible for resolving any settlement or subsidence issues caused by HS2 tunnelling and consequent vibration.
48    We also want to clarify that owners of properties above tunnels will be entitled to some financial compensation for the compulsory purchase of their subsoil rights and for reasonable costs that they incur as a result of this transfer of ownership.

The original document can be found here hs2-review-of-property-issues

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