HS2: Rural Support Zone

Is your property in the HS2 Rural Support Zone and are you or your business entitled to compensation? Mike Bracegirdle helps you find out.


If your property is near the proposed High Speed Two (HS2) route it may be possible to sell to the Government at its unblighted market value or receive a lump sum payment.

There are a number of schemes and your property’s eligibility depends upon its location and the phase of HS2.


Checks need to be made to ascertain if your property is;

  • In the Safeguard Area
  • In the Rural Support Zone
  • In the Homeowner Payment Zone
  • Outside the zone

In this article, we focus on the Rural Support Zone (RSZ).  You can find out more about the other categories here on the HS2 page on our website: https://www.butcher-barlow.co.uk/commercial-services/hs2/

Rural Support Zone

If your property is eligible and within the RSZ you have two options;

  1. apply for a cash offer – an alternative for owner/occupiers who want to remain in their property;
  2. apply for the Voluntary Purchase Scheme – if you want to sell the property.

Are you Eligible for a cash offer or the Voluntary Purchase Scheme?

  • 25% of your property must be in the RSZ which is normally within 60 to 120 metres from the mid-point of the line.
  • You must have been the registered proprietor of a residential property, an agricultural unit with a property acting as a main home or commercial property (subject to rateable value conditions).
  • The property must be freehold, or leasehold with 3 years remaining on the lease.
  • You must have been running a business from the property or, of the property is empty for 6 months in the preceding 18 month period.
  • You must have bought the property or entered into a lease of the property before the initial preferred routes of Phase 1, Phase 2a and 2b were announced, or show in certain cases why you could not have known.


 You will be entitled to:

Cash Offer:  a lump sum payment equal to 10% of market price with a minimum figure of £30, 000 and subject to a maximum of £100,000 plus a contribution of £500 plus VAT towards legal fees.

Voluntary Purchase:  you will receive 100% of market value (based on 2 independent valuations). However there is no contribution towards legal fees and removal costs.

Another option – the Need To Sell Scheme

This is a discretionary scheme available to people unable to sell their property due to the proximity to the HS2 route but who has a compelling reason to do so.  Each application has to be made on its own merits. Compelling reasons include changing jobs or emigrating. This scheme is available to property owners who have accepted a cash offer, but the cash offer would be recouped in the Need To Sell application was successful.

Five Criteria need to be met:

  1. Property type

The scheme is available, with certain criteria attached, to owner/occupiers, mortgage lenders, Personal Representatives and ‘reluctant landlords’ i.e. people who have had to rent out their property for compelling reasons and owner/occupiers of certain business premises.

  1. Location

Proximity to the route and topography of the area will be considered.

  1. Efforts to sell

Is HS2 the reason that the property cannot be sold?

  1. No prior knowledge

Did you buy your property before you could be reasonably expected to have been aware of HS2’s proposals?

  1. Compelling reason to sell

You must provide evidence to prove you have an unreasonable burden within the next 3 years if you are unable to sell except at a significant loss.

If successful, 100% of market price is payable but again there will be no contribution to legal fees or removal costs.

an image of the HS2 team at Butcher & Barlow LLP

The Butcher & Barlow HS2 Team
James Holton, Mike Bracegirdle, Jonathan Aldersley, Graham Gigg

This is a brief overview of the schemes available if you live within the RSZ.  For guidance and advice specific to you and your circumstances, a member of our HS2 Team. The team has already assisted many clients with various schemes available under HS2 and have an excellent working relationship with both the government appointed lawyers and land agents. We can put you into contact with local land agents to assist if valuations are in dispute or our Dispute Resolution team can assist with putting together a claim under the Need to Sell scheme.