Residential Conveyancing

Town and Country Planning

Compulsory Purchase Orders and HS2

Are you affected by a Compulsory Purchase Order whether because of HS2 or otherwise?

We have extensive experience in dealing with all aspects of Compulsory Purchase Orders due to HS2 or otherwise, including in relation to:-

  • Residential Property
  • Commercial Property
  • Agricultural Land

We have assisted clients in securing proper compensation under Compulsory Purchase Orders

“Safeguarding” and Statutory Blight

“Safeguarding” is a planning tool to help the government and HS2 Limited to protect the land needed to build and operate the railways from conflicting development.

This means that Local Authorities must seek the views of HS2 Limited when they receive a planning application for the development of land within the safeguarded area. HS2 Limited then assess whether the proposals could conflict with its plans for the railway.

The aim of “Safeguarding” is not to prevent development in the area surrounding the line of the route, but to ensure that no conflict is created.

As well as helping to protect the land needed to build and operate the railway, the “Safeguarding” directions also trigger what is known as “Statutory Blight”. This means that property owners within the “Safeguarded” area may be eligible to serve a Statutory Blight Notice asking the Secretary of State for Transport to buy their property prior to it being needed for construction.


To qualify to serve a Statutory Blight Notice:-

  1. You have to have a ‘qualifying interest in the property’ that you wish the Secretary of State for Transport to purchase.
  2. The whole or part of your property must be in the “Safeguarded” area.
  3. You must have made reasonable endeavours to sell your property.

Property types

A qualifying interest includes the following:-

  1. Owner-occupiers (which includes freehold and leasehold properties with at least three years remaining on the Lease) of private residential properties situated wholly or partly within the “Safeguarded” area.
  2. Owner-occupiers of business premises with an annual rateable value not exceeding £34,800 which are situated wholly or partly within the “Safeguarded” area.
  3. Owner-occupiers of Agricultural units which are situated wholly or partly within the safeguarded area.
  4. Mortgagees (Banks and Building Societies) who at the time of the sale:-
  • Have the right to exercise their powers of sale in relation to a property which is situated wholly or partly within the “Safeguarded” area.
  • Can give immediate vacant possession
  1.  Personal representatives of a deceased person who had one of the above qualifying interests in a property situated wholly or partly within the “Safeguarded” area at the time of death.

In addition to the qualifying interests set out above, there are also residency requirements in relation to; Residential Owner-Occupiers, Owner-Occupiers of Business Premises and separately, in relation to Agricultural units and Representatives of a Deceased Person.

Location of the Property

You can only serve the Secretary of State for Transport with a Statutory Blight Notice if your property is situated wholly or partly within the “Safeguarded” area and you have a qualifying interest. A Statutory Blight Notice must be served in respect of the whole of the Property, regardless of whether it is situated wholly or partly within the “Safeguarded” area.

Reasonable endeavours to sell

It is a statutory requirement that Blight Notices need to include details of reasonable endeavours made to sell the property in question.


The type and level of compensation paid to property owners whose land is acquired, either by compulsory purchase or in consequence of the service of a Statutory Blight Notice, varies in individual circumstances and the type of property involved.

However, the categories of compensation are as follows:-

  1. The value of land taken, meaning the un-blighted open market value of the interest of the land taken. This is assessed by the value of the property in the current market conditions if there had been no plans for HS2
  2. Severance and injurious affection meaning compensation for the reduction in value of the land retained by the property owner if only part of the property needs to be purchased.
  3. Disturbance
  4. Fees which effectively means compensation for the reasonable surveyors and/or solicitors fees which may be incurred as a result of the property being acquired.

If you are affected by the Compulsory Purchase of your property or HS2, please contact Stephen Lockwood without delay through the online enquiry form or telephone 01564 777250

We operate across the West Midlands

We work with all sizes of business and individuals across the West Midlands advising on all aspects property law:

If you would like to discuss your legal matters or concerns with us:

Commercial conveyancing and residential conveyancing solicitors based in the West Midlands.