A bit on the side

The Property & Compensation Consultation, part 2

(In order for me to complete this current series in time to allow respondents to the public consultation on Property & Compensation to make use of the contents and still respond by the closing date of 31st January 2013, I will be posting one blog every two days, rather than the customary four days, from now on until the series has been completed.)

In this blog I shall complete the description of the HS2 safeguarding proposals that I began in my blog Keeping things safe (posted 29 Dec 2012) and explain the proposals for a further, non-statutory area that HS2 Ltd has drawn on the maps supporting the public consultation on the proposed HS2 property compensation provisions.

In section 6 of the document HS2 Safeguarding and Property & Compensation maps: general notes on draft safeguarded area, the safeguarding provisions that apply where the HS2 route is in bored tunnel are explained:

“Where the route is in bored tunnel, the standard width is 30m either side of the physical tunnel corridor and is subsurface interest only.

“This means that HS2 Ltd is only interested in being consulted on developments that extend beneath the ground and could therefore impact upon its ability to construct its tunnels.”

The example reproduced below illustrates how this applies in practice. It shows the safeguarding arrangements for a section of track around the northern end of the proposed bored tunnel under Long Itchington Wood in Warwickshire.

Example of safeguarding arrangements at a tunnel portal (source: HS2 Ltd)

Example of safeguarding arrangements at a tunnel portal (source: HS2 Ltd)

Comparing this with the route maps that were issued in January 2011 reveals that the standard 120 metre wide safeguarding strip extends northwards from a few metres inside the northern end of the proposed tunnel, but the tunnel extending southwards is not shown shaded, indicating that HS2 Ltd has no “surface interest” regarding the land above the tunnel. The “subsurface interest” is indicated by the two parallel red lines extending southwards, which are 60 metres apart.

However, the use of a bored tunnel does not entirely remove the need for safeguarding the surface interest. Section 7 of HS2 Safeguarding and Property & Compensation maps: general notes on draft safeguarded area tells us:

“Potential sites of tunnel intervention shafts (to provide emergency access and ventilation) have been included in the safeguarding as areas of surface interest.

“Land on the surface to accommodate the entrance/exit points for tunnel intervention shafts have (sic) been included where they have been identified at this stage. It remains a possibility that further planning work will identify alternative / additional sites to those safeguarded at this stage. These may be the subject of future revisions to the safeguarding directions, as the Secretary of State considers appropriate and proportionate.”

A practical example of safeguarding land for surface interest in connection with a tunnel intervention shaft is shown below. This relates to the Upper Bottom House Farm Lane intervention shaft, just north of Chalfont St Giles in Buckinghamshire. The safeguarded area for surface interest is again shown shaded grey, with the sub-surface interest indicated by red boundary lines alone.

Example of safeguarding arrangements for an intervention shaft (source: HS2 Ltd)

Example of safeguarding arrangements for an intervention shaft (source: HS2 Ltd)

So much for safeguarding, but HS2 Ltd has also identified additional land on the maps that does not have a statutory function; this is what I have called “a bit on the side”, but is more properly referred to as the “voluntary purchase zone (VPZ)”. This zone has no planning function, but has been defined solely for the purposes of determining compensation rights – these rights will be explained in a future blog.

The rules that have been employed by HS2 Ltd to draw the VPZ on the maps are summarised in paragraph 2.15 on page 15 of the consultation document High Speed Two: Property and Compensation for London –West Midlands, as follows:

“We propose that the VPZ will extend up to 120m either side of the line, where the land has not already been safeguarded. The safeguarded area typically extends 60m either side of the line, but with adjustments to take account of local geography and construction needs. The VPZ will start from immediately outside the M25 and run to the junction with the West Coast Main Line. It would not apply within the M25, or for the section of track towards central Birmingham to the west of the Delta junction at Water Orton. We also propose to exclude those areas where the line is in deepbored tunnels as properties in these areas will not experience the same level of impact from either the construction or operation of HS2.”

The example reproduced below illustrates the extent of the VPZ for the area near Cubbington shown in the second illustration in Keeping things safe. The VPZ is the area shaded blue. As you can see, it only applies outside the safeguarding area that is associated directly with the trackway and not to any safeguarding area extensions to cover other requirements – in this example the requirement for a planned diversion of a road.

Example of a voluntary purchase zone (source: HS2 Ltd)

Example of a voluntary purchase zone (source: HS2 Ltd)

In the next blog I will cover entitlements to compensation under current statutes.

Acknowledgement: The Ordinance Survey mapping upon which the HS2 Ltd safeguarding details are overlaid has been reproduced in accordance with the principles of fair dealing as set out in the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.  On this basis, this mapping is:

Reproduced by permission of Ordnance Survey on behalf of HMSO.

© Crown Copyright. All rights reserved.

Unfortunately the document HS2 Safeguarding and Property & Compensation maps: general notes on draft safeguarded area is no longer hosted on the HS2 Ltd website, and so the link no longer functions.


2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by chriseaglen on January 2, 2013 at 8:25 pm

    This additional sub-surface requirement is for the additional tunnel bores required to extend from one track each way to two tracks each way almost doubling the subsurface costs. The change to the top side provides the option for a 2 or 4 bore approach with the option to adjust the position of some ventilation shafts.


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