HS2 Ltd has come under stinging criticism for undervaluing property scheduled for demolition as well as delaying compensation payments.
As the project gets underway, these issues underline the uncertainties and financial risks that lie ahead in its path. It sustains the misery for affected residents and sends a clear signal to potential homebuyers looking in areas close to where the line is planned.
It has emerged that HS2 Ltd, the company responsible for delivering the two main phases of the High Speed 2 rail line to Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds, may have underestimated the value of property scheduled for demolition by “hundreds of millions of pounds”
Amid claims that HS2 Ltd may have misled MPs, which are denied by the firm, it calls into scrutiny whether the final bill for the project really will be the £56Bn promised across the two phases.
The revelations have come after former senior HS2 executives agreed that they had property valuation estimates that were substantially higher than admitted to MPs at the time the budget was put together.
The company is involved in the biggest land and property acquisition programme since World War Two, buying a total of 70 sq km of land.
Residents whose properties are in the path of the line have complained of low valuations and delays in compensation after finding out their homes and premises were needed by HS2.