The Coalition Government has officially launched the Exceptional Hardship Scheme for those homeowners affected by the High Speed proposals.
Local Conservatives, and action groups have argued that the EHS should cover homeowners on all the proposed routes, not simply the preferred option.
“This Compensation Scheme is still not good enough, and we will continue to fight for it to apply to all routes,” said Chairman of Aylesbury Conservatives, Paul Rogerson, “The Labour Government announced a total of three possible routes. Under the current scheme, only those on the preferred route are eligible for compensation. We, and others, are lobbying hard to get this extended to all routes. After all, the houses on all the routes are suffering blight at the moment, and this will continue until it is made clear exactly which route it is to be.”
“Aside from the Compensation scheme, we believe that the business case for these high speed train plans are severely flawed, and we have been calling for the new government to completely review it, with the aim of scrapping the plans entirely.”
“In the meantime though, we would encourage people who think they may have a claim, to apply to this compensation scheme, and if you succeed, please tell your local action group so that it may help others – especially important is how far away from the line you live.”
“We will continue to fight these plans. Not only will they cause irreversible damage to some beautiful stretches of countryside, the scheme will cost billions, which the country just does not have to spare, and there is seemingly little benefit to train users – only 20minutes saved off journey times. The business case put forward simply does not add up.”
The criteria for the EHS are strict, amongst other things the resident has to demonstrate a need to sell the property now, and that they have already made sufficient attempts to try and sell it. The HS2 Action Alliance website has some guidance on applications which may be of help (www.hs2actionalliance.org)
MP, David Lidington can also advise on applications, please ring his Constituency Office on 01296 482102 for a surgery appointment.