CAMPAIGNERS have called for a compensation scheme for people affected by a proposed high speed rail route to be replaced – saying the planned one is “unjust”.

Residents are currently being invited to apply for the Department of Transport-led 'Exceptional Hardship Scheme' if their property would be affected by the rail link if it was built.

But a new group set up to fight the planned railway line say few people qualify for the scheme, with many set to get no compensation at all – and have proposed their own hardship scheme.

Homes throughout the Chiltern district would be affected if the new High Speed 2 London to Birmingham route was given the go-ahead by the Government.

Several protest groups have been set up to fight against the plans with the HS2 Action Alliance – which describes itself as 'an umbrella group that is challenging the current HS2 proposals' – being formed this week.

It has put forward its own Alternative Compensation Solution after saying the Government scheme was “unjust”.

This is because “most individual property owners will be forced to carry the loss in value, paying part of the costs of a major infrastructure project from their personal assets”, the group said.

A statement from the group said: “The alternative scheme bases compensation for blight on the principle that individuals and businesses suffering loss caused by HS2 should be fairly and fully compensated, and that HS2 should bear the cost of the devaluation in property prices it causes.

“Few qualify for the DfT scheme. Farmers and small businesses receive no compensation at all. Geographical restrictions exclude many properties already blighted by the proposed route.

“A new approach is needed for how individuals affected by major infrastructure projects are compensated.”

The Alliance also has called for a Government Undertaking to guarantee property values.

The Department for Transport's Exceptional Hardship Scheme closes on May 20.

The DfT's website states: “Where a residential property owner-occupier has an urgent need to sell their property and believes that the value of that property had been affected by the High Speed Two preferred route option, they would be able to apply to the Secretary of State to purchase their property under the EHS.

“It is proposed to set up a panel of experts, including independent members, which would consider individual applications and make recommendations to the Secretary of State as to whether they should be accepted.

“Residential property owner-occupiers would have to be able to demonstrate that they had a pressing need to sell their property at that time and that they would suffer exceptional hardship if they had to wait until such time as the statutory blight provisions applied.”

To view the HS2 Action Alliance's website, click the link below.