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David Haines and Richard Flenley write for The Times on HS2 and the safeguarding of land for major infrastructure projects

In the wake of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak scrapping the Northern part of the HS2 rail project - with the exception of the new London Euston to Birmingham line - issues remain around how 'fit for purpose' the law in the UK is in striking a fair balance between enabling major infrastructure projects and protecting the interests of businesses and homeowners.

On this issue, David Haines, Partner and Head of Real Estate Disputes, and Richard Flenley, Partner, write a joint piece for The Times.

In the piece, they argue that:

Long-term safeguarding surely must be looked at again. Significant stretches of land between Birmingham and Leeds still remain safeguarded for the project and there seems little justification for that to remain the case.

Additionally, now that the remaining part of phase two has also been cancelled, questions arise over how long will it be before safeguarding is released to those most directly and specially affected by the proposals.

It is also crucial to establish a better mechanism to compensate those affected by the cancellation. Currently, the only real route to is via statutory blight, which is only available in specific circumstances.

Apart from the embarrassment of having to cancel substantial parts of the proposals so many years down the line, we now need a system of safeguarding and compensation that is fit for the 21st century.

Real the full article in The Times here (subscription required).

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