High Speed 2 Railway Line

Department for Transport written question – answered on 19th December 2018.

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Photo of Lord Alton of Liverpool Lord Alton of Liverpool Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of reports that estimates of land and property costs for HS2 given to the House of Commons were wrong; and what estimate they have made of the actual costs.

Photo of Baroness Sugg Baroness Sugg Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

The HS2 land and property budget has evolved as the programme has developed. The Government welcomed the National Audit Office (NAO) report in September 2018 into the HS2 Phase One property acquisition programme.

The report found that the property cost estimate had increased significantly from 2012 to 2017 and set out that this kind of change was to be expected on a large complex project such as HS2. The NAO noted that the increase included route changes as a result of public consultation, in response to the requests of petitioners during the parliamentary process leading up to Royal Assent and the introduction of additional property compensation schemes.

There is also the fact that detailed land cost assessments were not possible until after Royal Assent was achieved, and re-assessing land values from 2011 prices. The Government followed the correct process in terms of how it updated Parliament of the Phase One property costs.

As reported by the NAO, HS2 Ltd has forecasted that the cost to acquire land and property for Phase One of the route would be £3,356 million

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