Homeowners in the Midlands blighted by the proposed HS2 high speed rail line could face a compensation wait of up to 12 YEARS.
Specialist solicitor Alastair Frew said those affected by the proposed rail route and living outside the London to Birmingham route corridor could face the huge delays.
Meanwhile, those directly within the route corridor and set to have land compulsorily purchased may still be around two years off seeing money reach their bank account.
His comments followed the Government’s Bill announcements in this month’s Queen’s Speech, bringing the project a step closer.
The London to Birmingham section of the high speed line aims to be running by 2025 with work likely to start in 2016. Phase Two is unlikely to open before 2033.
But Mr Frew said: “The problem is that many are already being impacted by the scheme but are still a long way off receiving compensation or even being able to quantify their position.”
Mr Frew, a partner with Stratford-upon-Avon based Lodders Solicitors, said latest figures from the Government’s hardship scheme showed 299 of the 455 applications had been rejected by HS2, the company running the scheme, with only 81 successful.
To succeed applicants have to be both blighted and facing a pressing need to move, such as ill-health or divorce. The next most likely to receive compensation is the group within the zone whose land will be compulsory purchased. But they are in limbo following a High Court ruling rejecting nine out of ten legal challenges.
Mr Frew said: “These are the people who will be compensated at the point the authorities compulsorily purchase the land. For most of Phase One that is probably at least a couple of years away.”
But those blighted but living outside the compulsory purchase zone were likely to be a decade or more away from compensation, he warned.