What is High Speed 2?
The High Speed 2 (HS2) is a railway network connecting the largest cities in England and Scotland to London. It aims to provide a quick journey time for long distance travellers between London, the West Midlands and the north of England.
Phase One of the development will link London Euston station to the new Curzon Street station in Birmingham in 49 minutes, with trains reaching speeds of up to 250mph and travelling 14 times per hour in each direction. Phase Two continues further north to the North West, Yorkshire and potentially the North East and Scotland.
The construction of Phase One is planned to begin in 2017 with an indicative opening date of 2026, although parliament will need to approve the necessary powers to be able to run to the estimated dates.
If you are looking to buy a home in London, or you are currently living in London, your property may be affected by the construction of Phase One of the HS2.
Where will HS2 affect in London?
As the HS2 will be departing from London Euston station, the north west of London will be the most affected by the HS2, notably the boroughs of Camden, Brent, Ealing and Hillingdon. So if you are buying a home in Camden Town, this is something that should be considered.
The London locations that the rail line will be running through or near to include, Euston, Primrose Hill, Swiss Cottage, South Hampstead, Kilburn, Acton, Perivale, Ruislip and Harefield. If you are buying a property in one of these areas, it is important that you instruct a to complete a railway search. This will investigate the proximity of the HS2 to the property and whether it may impact on your enjoyment of the home.
reallymoving.com has a number of solicitors with experience providing a conveyancing service to buyers in North West London; they will be able to help you in matters regarding railway lines during your property transaction, including whether the nearby line will be constructed through a tunnel, which may be relevant if you are buying in the Ealing area.
HS2 provides an interactive map of the prospective train route for Phase One of the HS2, but your conveyancing solicitor will be able to confirm whether the property you are purchasing will be affected following the appropriate searches.
Buying in London
HS2 Ltd has stated that 21,300 dwellings could experience a noticeable increase in rail noise, so it is important to find a solicitor working in London who will be aware of the appropriate searches to inform you if your property will be affected by the railway line.
Although changes and revisions have occurred throughout the development process of HS2 with the aim of mitigating the noise, vibrations and visual impact of the construction and operation of the high speed rail line, make sure you find a knowledgeable conveyancing solicitor to inform you of how you may be affected. Your solicitor will undertake conveyancing searches to make you aware of the proposals, the distance your property will be from the route and the impact the proposed HS2 railway may have on your new London home. If your property will be within 200m of the HS2, it will be covered by the relevant local authority search.
Living in a property affected by rail noise may not seem an attractive prospect, but it has been claimed that the value of homes close to the route have fallen by as much as 40%, so you may be able to find a property in your chosen London area for a reduced price.
When you have had an offer accepted, be sure to consult a London Chartered Surveyor to complete a HomeBuyer Report or Building Survey and discuss your options concerning the HS2, especially if you are planning to extend or develop the property. They will also be able to inform you of the market value of the property, taking into account the proposed railway line, to ensure you are paying a reasonable amount for your new London home and advise you on how to move forward during your property purchase.
Use our cost of moving house calculator to work out how much it will cost for you to move house
Assistance and Compensation
If you are already a home owner in London, or you are marketing your house for sale, and you think your home may be directly affected by the HS2, there may be some options available to you.
The compensation measures that are currently available include:
Which one you may be entitled to will be dependent on your circumstances and the distance your property is to the proposed railway line. You can find out more information about the compensation available here.
If your property is in the ‘surface safeguarding area’, within 60m of the proposed line, and you are struggling to sell your home, you may be eligible for the property to be bought by the government at the full, unblighted market value plus 10%. If this is something you may be interested in, be sure to contact an expert conveyancing solicitor to help you through this process.