The Transport Secretary last week announced the start of the public consultation on the proposed route of High Speed 2 Phase Two.
I would encourage local residents to voice their opinions and participate in this consultation. The consultation documentation and details of how to respond are available at http://www.hs2.org.uk/phase-two/route-consultation/document-library#
HS2 Ltd and the Department for Transport will also be hosting public consultation events along the proposed route of Phase Two. Some of the dates and venues for those in the Sheffield City Region have been announced and they include events on Friday 15 November (12pm-8pm) and Saturday 16 November (10am-5pm) at iceSheffield.
More consultation events and drop-ins are being arranged; further details of these events will be available on the HS2 Ltd website (www.hs2.org.uk).
The consultation will close on 31 January 2014. Consideration of the responses will then follow alongside detailed work to refine the second phase of the route. The Transport Secretary plans to then announce his decision on the route, stations and depot locations for Phase Two by the end of 2014.
The Transport Secretary also launched an Exceptional Hardship Scheme (EHS) for Phase Two, an interim scheme designed to assist owner-occupiers during the early stages of the project's development. The introduction of the EHS means that property owners who are significantly adversely affected by the proposals for Phase Two, and who have an urgent need to sell their property in order to avoid exceptional hardship, will now be able to apply to the Government to buy their property for 100% of its un-blighted open market value. This is not the only opportunity for property owners to receive compensation. As plans for the line develop, statutory measures will take effect and options will be considered for further, long term, discretionary compensation.
All the information to support last week's announcement, including about the EHS, is available at www.hs2.org.uk/phase-two