HS2 Phase 2b - Leeds. Buying next to route? Value Impact? Future area safeguarding/Compensation?



New Member
Long post, sorry, complicated situation and am very confused....trying to get some info and not sure where to turn!....

My girlfriend and I are first time buyers, have been saving for a deposit for years, and have found a house in Leeds that we want to buy. It is at the lower end of the market - and our intention was either to buy it, get us out of renting, continue to save - and then sell it, or keep it as our first investment to rent out, in around 4-5 years and move somewhere more expensive and larger where we would stay longer term.

We were about to make an offer, but have just realised that the proposed route for the HS2 railway line into Leeds city centre will pass about 60 metres from the house (end of the back garden, over a footpath - and then down into a cutting).

There is currently a local network rail line at the back of the house where the HS2 line will be - so again, the end of the back garden, over a footpath and then down into the existing cutting.....and from some online research I've done, the HS2 plan is to widen the cutting over the other side of the existing local railway line - and run the HS2 track next to it there. House is under 2 miles from where the new HS2 Leeds Station would be.

There are also some significant other engineering works planned locally including widening/replacement of 2 road bridges over the current/HS2 railway, one around 50 metres from the house, one around 300 metres.

My query is about potential for compensation were we to buy the property. Some of the HS1 schemes around compensation mention that the property must have been owned before 28th Jan 2013.....and another about 9th April 14 - seeming to relate to owning a property in question before the route was announced / confirmed?? (I'm rather confused by everything I've read!)

But looking through many documents about HS1, the subject of the "safeguarding" zone comes up - which appears to be that the government will buy back houses within 60 metres of the HS2 route centre line at full market value plus 10%. Not sure of the exact distance this property will be - but its close to that.

Obviously for HS2 phase 2 for Leeds - the safegaurding areas haven't been announced yet, and I think are due to be in late 2016?? The reason I'm wondering about this is that for the safeguarding zone - there is no mention of having to have owned a property in it since a certain date, just that the owner/occupier has lived there 6 months in the last 18.

I suppose I'm wondering if we buy the house now, and then at the end of this year the HS2 Phase 2b route - Leeds, is confirmed as per current proposal, and then the safeguarding zone around it confirmed - would we be eligible to sell the house to the government at market value, (unblighted by HS2) at a point in the next few years??

If not, would be potentially be able to claim any kind of compensation at all at any point?

If no compensation would be claimable - how should we be approaching making an offer on the house in terms of amount to offer? We are keen to buy it, and live there 4-5 years (which would take us to around 2021) as by that time the construction of HS2 wouldn't have started yet still. At that point though we worry we may struggle to sell on / rent out at a break even/profit unless the price we buy at now is favourable to take the HS2 issue into account?


My advice would be not to touch it if you wish to be able to resell it in a few years time. It is incredibly difficult to sell houses which have railway lines backing onto them. If however you are happy to keep it to rent it out when you want to move on then provided it is a real bargain at this time maybe you would be ok. Personally, if it was me I would keep looking for something else.
Nicholas Wallwork

Nicholas Wallwork

Staff member
Premium Member
I'm afraid I can't give you much specific advice here other than to agree with Veronica! A major railway behind your house and major works nearby as well will certainly put new buyers off.

Even if your hope is to rent it out in the future you should always keep several options available with property. You might find renters don't want to rent it and you're stuck with a property you can't sell and can't rent.

Sorry to be too down on it but I'd seriously consider something else...