HS2 spends £600m on route properties

Properties costing £600m have been acquired by HS2, according to a Freedom of Information request.

The FOI request, made by the StopHS2 organisation, showed that HS2 has bought 902 properties along the route between 2011 and 2018, according to the BBC.

The publication also said that campaigners had criticised the company’s treatment of homeowners, whose properties they said were undervalued.

The highest price paid for any property was Whatcroft Hall in Cheshire, bought from comedian John Bishop for £6.8m.

The £56bn rail line is intended to better connect the North and Midlands with London, and is set to launch its first passenger services in 2026. Phase two which connects Manchester and Leeds with London is set to be completed by 2034.

A spokeswoman for the Department for Transport said: “HS2 Ltd must work closely and constructively with those impacted by the project – this ensures a sensible balance is struck between fair compensation for affected residents and protecting the public purse.

“Where property is needed to deliver this vital project, HS2 Ltd are bound by strict compensation rules and guidelines and we expect them to pay a fair, market price for properties.”

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