News & insight

HS2 given green light by PM, Boris Johnson

Richard Farr / 11 Feb, 20

Prime Minster Boris Johnson pledged his support for Phase 1 of high-speed rail line HS2 amidst concerns regarding the cost of the infrastructure project due to improve journey times between Birmingham and the capital.

The approval of Phase 1 forms part of a package of infrastructure investment proposed by the PM that focuses on improving connectivity, particularly within the north of England including freeports, bus routes, road improvements and technical investment.

Here at Sanderson Weatherall we have a team of compulsory purchase surveyors that are already working with a number of owners and occupiers of affected sites along the HS2 route.

“Today’s announcement is a welcome one following a period of some uncertainty. There is an acknowledged under capacity in respect of infrastructure, particularly in the North and HS2 should be seen as much as a regional network as it is a national network.

The strategic decision to review the Birmingham, Leeds, Manchester proposal is welcome but it should be undertaken proactively in a short period of time to mitigate the adverse socio-economic impact of the scheme. Now the decision has been made to proceed, it is our belief that engagement with the affected parties should be taken sooner rather than later.”

Richard Farr - Head of Compulsory Purchase, SW

Richard continued, “The procedures in place for residential compulsory purchase orders are at present a lot better than for commercial property so there needs to be a focus on protecting businesses, particularly any SME’s that might be affected.

“If you have a property within the corridor of development then it’s best to act now to maximise the time you have to reach a solution and minimise the disruption to your business. We’re already acting for a number of affected individuals and businesses along the route the best advice we can offer is to be proactive by providing HS2 with all the information they need.

“If you qualify or are given the opportunity to relocate we would most definitely advise that you take advantage of it. HS2 will cause a spike in demand for properties around the affected route so the sooner you act, the more choice you will have when it comes to relocating. At this stage, you may also look at engaging professional help, generally speaking HS2 will bear this cost, especially if you’re in active communications with them.”

Richard added, “Most importantly, view the relocation as an opportunity for your business. We have teams on hand to help you take the positives from your situation and help you start planning for the future!”

“Basically, HS2 has been designed as a north-south railway and when you come to the east-west bit, the Northern Powerhouse area, it doesn’t work very well. If you ask people in the north which one would they prioritise, most people would say get east-west right.”

Andy Burnham - Greater Manchester mayor
Topics: News

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