Posted on 6.11.14 by Sunita Patel
The proposed High Speed Railway line, ‘HS2’, was always going to polarise opinion. The oft-quoted “1 hour to London” from Manchester being seen as scant justification for the scar across the landscape that many see the new rail network to be.
It is a project not without controversy, there are supporters and opposers, winners and losers, but it appears as though HS2 (HS1 being the ‘Channel Tunnel’) now has too much momentum to be stopped. Britain has, as the pioneer, slipped from world-leader to the parochial relation with a rail network of essentially Victorian construction having to cope with the demands of modern transport needs.
There is far more to the HS2 development project than just a quicker commute to London; although this further development also comes at the cost of large-scale works across the North of England
HS2 High Speed 2 will be built in two phases. The first will see construction of a new 140 mile line between London and Birmingham by 2026. Phase 2 – extending the high speed lines to Manchester, Leeds and Heathrow – is not expected to be completed for at least another twenty years.
In addition to the improved links to the capital, the HS2 project also acknowledges that cities in the North are particularly poorly connected by rail and that this needs to be addressed; the lines between Manchester and Leeds, and Sheffield being the prime examples of a prohibitively sluggish service.
As with any such project, there will inevitably be businesses and people displaced by the fact that they work or live under the shadow of the proposed (and then approved) route. As a sign of its commitment to the project the Government has recently started the process of purchasing houses which fall under the confirmed route for Phase 1, south of Birmingham into London.
Gorvins solicitors have already successfully secured, at no upfront cost, Blight Notices for a number of residents unable to sell their homes due to these being ear-marked for demolition to make way for HS2. The Blight Notice is the first step in the process of purchase and compensation by the Government.
By working closely with surveyors we are able to jointly manage the process through from start to finish; ultimately securing those who would otherwise be locked into a home with a rapidly diminishing value with the opportunity to move.
Although the arrival of HS2 north of Birmingham may seem a long way off, it is, in the eyes of mortgage lenders and purchasers, not far away at all. With the average mortgage being for at least 25 years, the prospect of lending on a property in HS2’s path is not an attractive one, nor would it appear that potential purchasers would be keen to buy a house with such a finite life either.
This situation combines to make selling a property, even at this early stage, extremely difficult (if not impossible) once HS2 has confirmed its route.
With the plan being to link Manchester Piccadilly to the Airport and then on to London, via Crewe and Birmingham, it is inevitable that homes and businesses in South Manchester will be effected.
There are also plans to construct maintenance and rolling stock depots in Crewe and Golborne (south of Wigan) respectively.
Given our location in Stockport, we understand the concerns resulting from the proposed development works and we are here to assist if your business premises or home faces the prospect of being blighted by the new high-speed railway line.
Equally, if you are affected by the Phase 1 development then we can assist you, as we have assisted others, through the process of negotiated purchase by the Government.
There are undoubtedly many benefits to the HS2 scheme but such progress comes at cost. If your property, whether residential or business, falls within the approved Phase 1 route please do contact us to discuss how we may assist.
We are taking a keen interest in the proposals for the HS2 Phase 2 route and will update further as the slow High-Speed process moves forward. Please do keep checking back for more details.