Exceptional Hardship Scheme:

 Exceptional Hardship Scheme:


On 17th July 2013, in parallel with the announcement of the commencement of the Governments consultation on the route for Phase 2 of HS2, the Government also activated the exceptional Hardship Compensation Scheme (EHS) for Phase 2 residents

Any residents who believe that they have a pressing need to move but cannot do so because they are unable to sell their home because of HS2, may now apply to the EHS.  The application form and guidance notes can be found here:


 What is the exceptional Hardship Scheme?


The EHS for Phase 2 has been launched without modification to the proposals on which the Government have previously consulted.

The exceptional hardship scheme (EHS) is a discretionary scheme. The criteria rules are very tight and only apply to “exceptional” circumstances. See below for more information.

The current Phase 1 compensation consultation is likely to lead to alternative compensation scheme(s) to replace EHS in due course.

Under EHS if you have to sell your house and did not receive an offer within 85% of its value prior to the announcement of the HS2 scheme you may be able to make a claim under the Exceptional Hardship Scheme.

The key EHS criteria are:

EHS is a voluntary (i.e. non-statutory scheme) whereby the Secretary of State purchases individuals’ properties who:

    1. Are residential owner-occupiers, small business owners (rateable value of £34.8k or less), owner occupier farmers, recently inherited and repossessed properties
    2.  Live on or ‘in such close proximity of the route that it would be likely to be substantially adversely affected by the construction or operation of the new line. Properties over tunnels are only included if they are close to proposed entrances and exits
    3. Have an urgent need to move but cannot do so without accepting at least a 15% reduction from the un-blighted market value.
    4. Have a hardship reason for moving. Exception Hardships may originate from situations including, but not limited to issues around: Finances, health and disability, employment, family circumstances, domestic or care needs, a court settlement or the winding up of an estate of a deceased person.
    5. Have made reasonable efforts to sell, which the scheme say’s means: actively marketed it preferably with a recognised agent, for at least 3 months and at a realistic price. The inability to sell needs to be due to HS2 (not another reason).
    6. Had no offer within 85% of the open market value property price i.e. its un-blighted value.
    7. Did not know about HS2 when originally purchasing the property.

Acceptance under hardship criterion will involve a means test of the applicant to confirm that selling the house is the only way of relieving the hardship.

If successful the government will buy your property for its unaffected market value. The criteria, however, is very strict and the number of successful applicants is very low.

The EHS for Phase 2 has been launched without modification to the

proposals on which the Government consulted earlier this year.  Their

official response to the consultation can be found here:


For those of you curious enough to want to see the analysis of the

consultation responses, the Ipsos-Mori report can be found here: