Brit forced to sell their £1.5m home for bulldozing ahead of HS2 - just 24 hours before Sunak scrapped project

Padlocked home bought by HS2

Many homes along the proposed railway line had been forced to sell

Holly Bishop

By Holly Bishop

Published: 06/10/2023

- 14:13

Updated: 06/10/2023

- 14:49

A compulsory purchase order was given out to the owner

A homeowner was made to give up their £1.5million property to HS2, less than 24 hours before the northern leg of the project was scrapped by Rishi Sunak.

The property in Staffordshire is understood to have had a deal finalised on it on Tuesday afternoon.

“We exchanged contracts on a property in Staffordshire on Tuesday for well over a million and a half," a property agent told the i.

Compulsory purchase orders (CPOs) had been given out to certain estates along the proposed rail lines.

WATCH NOW: Sunak scraps Manchester leg of HS2

It has been reported that £600million has been spent on buying property along the northern leg of the line.

These orders meant that HS2 could obtain land or property without the consent of the owner.

However, now the northern leg from Birmingham to Manchester has been scrapped, these homes will now long be required.

The Department for Transport (DfT) will still have to pay millions of pounds for CPOs that were already in negotiation before Sunak announced its cancellation at the Tory Party conference on Wednesday.


Now that only Phase One of the rail project remains, the Government plans to sell the properties they no longer need.

However, some CPOs are under contractual obligations which mean Westminster will still have to complete their purchase of the properties.

Tim Broomhead, a partner at agents Knight Frank, said: “Those negotiations that are already underway and almost complete will have to be honoured by HS2. I believe that we have an aggregate of more than £10m of sales that fall into that category, and other firms will have a similar amount.”

Another agent said he believed that the Government’s current bill would continue to rise, hitting a staggering £700million price tag.

HS2 high vis vestHS2 was cancelled by Sunak at the Conservative Party conference PA

“We’ve got around £15m of sales to HS2 that are ready to complete, so contracts have been agreed and these properties will sell even if they are no longer required for HS2,” said the agent.

Yesterday, it was reported that Sunak’s Government had not instructed HS2 managers to cease acquiring CPOS.

DfT have also not begun to select a method for selling the now obsolete properties they purchased, it is understood.

A spokeswoman for HS2 said: “We have no instructions from Government yet. In the paper they issued yesterday [Wednesday] it says that Phase 2a safeguarding will be formally lifted in weeks and Phase 2B safeguarding will be amended by summer next year.”

You may like