Property owners living on the proposed HS2 route who face compulsory purchase of their homes have been dealt a further blow from the Government, the Country Land and Business Association says.
The association represents landowners, farmers and rural businesses, and says the Government has reneged on a commitment to penalise companies – including HS2 Ltd – for taking land but failing to pay compensation on time.
A letter from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to the association says it has commissioned a review into plans to impose a penal rate of interest on late compensation payments.
Association president Tim Breitmeyer said: “People affected by projects like HS2 have already suffered serious disruption to their businesses and lives. “It is simply not right to take any person’s property and fail to pay them.
“If they do not receive timely compensation they need to borrow in order to relocate or reinvest.
“ Without a punitive rate of interest in place they have no incentive to change their practices, which are characterised by delays and late payments.
“Reneging on this promise significantly undermines the chance of fair payments, not just for those affected by HS2 but by all large national infrastructure projects.”
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