High Speed 2—statutory blight

The following Planning practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • High Speed 2—statutory blight
  • Who can serve a statutory blight notice?
  • Qualifying interests in the property
  • Compensation
  • Procedure for serving a blight notice

High Speed 2—statutory blight

High Speed 2 (HS2) is a proposed new high-speed rail network, from London to Birmingham and to Manchester and Leeds. The government hopes it will improve the transport network and boost the economy, but there has been controversy about the exact route of the line and its effect on nearby landowners.

Safeguarding is a process that effectively protects the route of HS2 from any planning applications or developments that could adversely affect its construction or use. Property owners along or partly within the safeguarding route can now serve the government with a 'statutory blight notice'.

Statutory blight is a process that allows affected owners to sell their property to the government for its un-blighted open-market value – ie what it would be worth if HS2 hadn’t been proposed. See Practice Note: Statutory blight.

The statutory blight process is explained in detail on the HS2 government website.

See Practice Note: High Speed 2.

Who can serve a statutory blight notice?

To qualify to serve a statutory blight notice three criteria must be fulfilled:

  1. there must be a 'qualifying interest' in the property proposed to be purchased by the Secretary of State

  2. the property must be partly or wholly within the safeguarded area

  3. all reasonable endeavours must have been made to sell the property

Qualifying interests in the property

The definition of a qualifying interest includes:

  1. owner/occupiers (freeholders and leaseholders with

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