Blight package for high speed railway line through South Yorkshire

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HOUSEHOLDS and businesses on the route of the planned HS2 high speed rail line could be eligible for enhanced compensation once the route is finalised by the end of 2014.

And people needing to more more urgently in ‘exceptional’ circumstances, such as needing to sell up to move into a care home, will be able to apply to have their home bought immediately.

The pledge has been made by Ian Jordan, director for HS2 Limited’s northern routes.

Mr Jordan also revealed that up to three trains an hour could run each way between Sheffield and London on the new line.

He said: “We will be taking a decision to confirm the route by the end of next year and once that is confirmed, land required will be safeguarded for planning purposes and people whose homes and businesses are taken will receive statutory compensation.”

Mr Jordan said payments would be market value of homes before the HS2 project announcement, plus an extra 10 per cent and removal costs.

“There’ll be a wider voluntary purchase zone on either side of the track, the size of which hasn’t yet been decided,” he added.

Mr Jordan said HS2 Limited, the company set up by the Government to build the line, which will stop at Sheffield Meadowhall, is having discussions with affected businesses - including Firth Rixson, whose Meadowhall factory is in the way of the route.

Individual settlements will be made with companies.

Mr Jordan said only 120 homes would need to be demolished on the Birmingham to Leeds line and that homes sold to the Government not needing to be pulled down would be rented out.

He added that ‘concessions’ could be made to minimise environmental impact of the route - which Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trusts say could hit 12 nature reserves.