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High Speed 2 (Property Bonds)

Volume 543: debated on Monday 30 April 2012

8. What discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Transport on whether a precedent exists for a property bond to be established for homeowners whose properties are affected by High Speed 2. (105720)

The Government’s approach to compensation for property owners was set out in the HS2 document, “Review of Property Issues”, which was published on 12 January by the Secretary of State for Transport, who, together with colleagues, was consulted in the usual way before publication.

I thank my right hon. Friend for his answer. Does he agree that as there have already been two years of property blight, which potentially remains until 2026, whereby people are unable to sell their houses normally, it might be necessary to consider a property bond to normalise the property market? Will he reassure me that if that were the case, his Department would not veto such a decision on the grounds that it might create a precedent for other national infrastructure projects?

My hon. Friend, who is a great campaigner on this issue, knows from the answer that the Transport Secretary gave her in the previous session of oral questions that my right hon. Friend recognises the impact that the plans for HS2 are having on residents along the route of the line and has given an assurance that she will make sure that the package is fair to all those residents.