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Guidance to Compensation and Mitigation (East West Rail Western Section, Phase 2)
Published June 2014
Revised (links to documents) June 2015
This information sheet gives general guidance on the circumstances in which people and businesses may be entitled to compensation if they are affected by developments to reconstruct the railway to enable East West Rail services to operate.
At the time of publication (June 2014), the full extent of work required on the line is still to be determined and consequently, it is too early to say what, if any compensation may be payable to individuals or businesses as a result of works associated with delivering East West Rail.
The core East West Rail (Western Section, Phase 2) scheme involves the reconstruction and upgrading of the currently disused or underused railway line between Bedford and Oxford, Milton Keynes and Aylesbury in order to introduce passenger and freight train services between Bedford and Oxford, Milton Keynes and Aylesbury and beyond.
The scheme, as proposed by the East West Rail Consortium, is a committed scheme that is being funded by the Department for Transport and local authorities in the East West Rail Consortium. Network Rail is working to deliver the scheme within its current five-year spending period ending March 2019.
In addition to the ‘core’ scheme originally proposed by the East West Rail Consortium, further substantial enhancements have been proposed by the Department for Transport to increase capacity and reliability of services, making the line fit for purpose for at least the next 25 years taking into consideration anticipated future demand. These potential ‘incremental’ requirements of the line are currently being reviewed by Network Rail and may result in more work being required on the line than for the original scheme.
The line between Oxford and Bedford is to be electrified. Network Rail plan to deliver the infrastructure required to electrify the line between Oxford and Bletchley at the same time as work necessary for core East West Rail services (by March 2019), and for work on electrification of the line between Bletchley and Bedford to start after March 2019.
The extent of proposed enhancements will not be decided before Spring 2015 and only then will it be possible to provide further detail on the extent of work required on the line.
General Guidance on Compensation
Railway upgrade and improvement works are essential and we understand that these can sometimes be disruptive for local communities, businesses, agricultural landowners and residents immediately adjoining the railway.
Network Rail intends to assess the likely impact of the scheme including any impact to local surroundings (including and not limited to impact on residents, agriculture, noise & vibration etc). Where appropriate Network Rail would propose mitigation measures to be undertaken to reduce any effects both during construction and once the scheme has been completed.
A ‘compensation code’ exists that is set out in legislation through several Acts of Parliament and supplementary case law. The purpose of the compensation code is to provide a uniform payment of fair compensation. There is generally a right to compensation where land is compulsorily acquired (both permanently and temporarily) and in certain circumstances where no land is taken. At this stage of the project it is too early to provide details of compensation that may be payable to individuals for works associated with the East West Rail Phase 2. Network Rail intends to consult all those who may be affected by the scheme during the design development process.
There are free guidance notes produced by Communities and Local Government available online at www.gov.uk which explain the process of Compulsory Purchase and the compensation code. Not all of these booklets will be applicable to individual circumstances.
Compulsory Purchase and Compensation Booklet 1: Compulsory purchase procedure
Compulsory Purchase and Compensation Booklet 2: Compensation to business owners and occupiers https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/compulsory-purchase-and- compensation-booklet-2-compensation-to-business-owners-and-occupiers
Compulsory Purchase and Compensation Booklet 3: Compensation to agricultural owners and occupiers https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/compulsory-purchase-and- compensation-booklet-3-compensation-to-agricultural-owners-and-occupiers
Compulsory Purchase and Compensation Booklet 4: Compensation to Residential Owners and Occupiers https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/compulsory-purchase-and- compensation-booklet-4-compensation-to-residential-owners-and-occupiers
In the event that the above guidance booklets do not answer your questions at this stage and you wish to seek independent advice from a Chartered Surveyor familiar with this type of work then please note that this will be at your own cost unless it is later established that you have a valid claim for compensation.
Once Network Rail have a sufficient level of certainty of what the scheme will involve we will be in a better position to comment on your particular circumstances and how you may be affected.