Although the construction of the first phase of HS2 linking London to Birmingham is not expected to begin until 2017, Buckinghamshire residents are already feeling the effects.
One pensioner, living close to the proposed route near Brackley marketed her house last year for £275,000, but the buyers pulled out after their mortgage lender valued the house at £0 due to its proximity to the route.
Homebuyers up and down the country are facing uncertainty that will last for over a decade. A compensation scheme has been set up for the hundreds of properties that will need to be demolished and for those owner-occupiers living within 60 metres of either side of the track. However, it is currently unclear how much, if any, compensation the many thousands of people whose properties will still be significantly devalued by being within earshot of the line will be offered. The Government have admitted that the construction and operation of HS2 will cause far-reaching disruption from noise, vibration, dust and artificial lighting.
Potential homebuyers may well become trapped into buying a property they do not know will be blighted as standard Local Authority Searches only have to identify if homes are within 200m of the HS2.
As conveyancers we need to keep a close eye on the proposed route and where necessary obtain information available from commercial searches in order to determine whether a property is within a 2 km radius of the line so that we are able to advise our clients appropriately.