The Government will not be able to claw back any of the £55bn projected costs on HS2 through regeneration opportunities created by the scheme, following a decision by MPs.
Jonathan Stott, Managing Director of Gateley Hamer with significant experience working for businesses affected by HS2, said MPs has rubber-stamped changes recently proposed by the House of Lords which mean that Local Authorities, rather than the Department for Transport, will be entrusted to maximise regeneration opportunities facilitated by the new railway.
The HS2 Hybrid Bill had originally included a controversial ‘Clause 48’ that would have allowed HS2 Ltd to compulsory purchase land not required by the scheme but for wider regeneration purposes.
But after scrutiny and a report from the House of Lords Select Committee following soundings from petitioners and professionals, the Government has now confirmed that the role of regenerating that land will be the remit of local authorities along the route.
Jonathan said: “Some felt that HS2 Ltd had only included the provision as a means of clawing back value created by the scheme to help pay for it – similar to how value has been realised by Crossrail through developing above the stations.
“In the Department for Transport’s response to the House of Lords report they reluctantly accepted that the relevant parts of Clause 48 are not required and they would, therefore, not seek to have it reinstated. MPs in the House of Commons last night approved the amendments to the Bill, which paves the way for Royal Assent to be obtained later this week.
Jonathan was expecting Royal Assent to be granted on HS2 at the start of this year but a combination of the changes proposed by the Lords and the prioritisation of the Brexit Bill above all other matters in politics has caused a further delay. However, with a final decision finally due this week, works are likely to commence almost immediately.