MORE residents affected by the planned route of HS2 will now be eligible for compensation - but those living above tunnels won't be getting anything.

Homeowners whose properties are up to 300 metres away from the route of the line through Bucks will now be eligible for some form of compensation.

New criteria for residents who have a need to sell their homes will also be introduced, making it easier for them to move.

Part of the line cuts through the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in a tunnel - but HS2 Director General David Prout said today people whose homes will be tunnelled under won't be eligible for compensation.

He said: "They are not eligible for compensation unless there's demonstrable damage caused by the work.

"Under some circumstances, if necessary, there will be monitoring of structures to ensure any movements - not that we expect any - is properly detected.

"Modern tunnelling techniques are extremely efficient."

Previously residents whose homes were up to 120 metres away from HS2 would be entitled to compensation, but this has now been extended to include those up to 300 metres away.

People in the zone between 120-300 metres away will receive a lump sum of between £7,500 and £22,500 depending on how close to the line they are.

A 'Need to Sell' scheme will also be introduced, along with new eligibility criteria. These include a need to sell due to relocating for a new job, dividing assets as part of a divorce, ill health, or to release funds for retirement.

Mr Prout said: "That will be a big help to people where the property value is directly affected by HS2 and finding it difficult to move out."

He said 184 homes in rural areas within 60 metres of the track would either be demolished or bought by the government, with homeowners receiving the full market value of the house plus an extra ten per cent, along with moving costs up to £20,000. The additional ten per cent will be capped at £47,000.

Owners of a further 348 houses between 60 and 120 metres away from the line would receive the full unblighted market value of their house. Under another new measure introduced today, homeowners who don't want to move will receive ten per cent of the market value of their home, ranging between a minimum of £30,000 and a maximum of £100,000.

Mr Prout said the Department for Transport expects to spend up to £600million on compensation.