Following a freedom of information request from the campaign group Stop HS2, it has been found that 902 residential properties, farms and many other pieces of land were purchased by HS2, costing almost £600m between 2011 and 2018.
The High-Speed Rail Project which is already costing £56bn will reduce the time it takes to travel between London and the Midland as well as the North of England, passing through Birmingham as it moves up to Leeds and many other stops including Manchester.
The first passenger services won’t go live until 2026 but the completion of the entire project could last until 2034 with the aim of it boosting the economy in the UK.
However, the project has come under scrutiny with the way in which it has treated homeowners with campaigners making allegations that homes have been consistently undervalued.
Some high-profile famous faces such as comedian John Bishop has made his feelings known about the failures and costs of the project despite selling his mansion for £6.8m, with the report suggesting that he made a profit of £4.5m on the sale of the property. It was made clear that he had no other option other than to sell the property because of HS2.
Many others have claimed that despite being entitled to compensation of the market value of their property, they have been given far less than what it was worth or less than the amount given for other properties.
A surveyor who has worked with HS2 has said that the valuation takes into consideration the amount of money that the homeowners have spent on their home and so, the value is not just based on the property alone.
A spokeswoman for HS2 has said that they have committed to providing the right support for homeowners on the Shimmer Estate and have reached values for more than 75% of cases where owners have agreed on a price. This means that they have submitted an application to sell their property through the property support schemes.
The problem that arises from purchasing property as part of the project is that each home is different and so, it is important that a price is fair to both the homeowner and the taxpayer.