‘Still so much uncertainty surrounding HS2’, NFU tells ministers

05 February 2024

HS2 map

NFU Vice President David Exwood met with the HS2 Minister Huw Merriman and Farming Minister Mark Spencer to highlight the ongoing issues facing farmers and growers impacted by the HS2 rail projects, from the construction on Phase 1, and now the cancellation of Phase 2a and 2b.

Earlier this month, the government announced that the safeguarding of land and property across the majority of Phase 2a had been removed. The NFU had been calling on government to provide much needed clarity surrounding safeguarding and this was very much welcomed.

However, during the meeting, the NFU raised the ongoing issues with safeguarding on phase 2b going to Manchester, and the eastern leg going to Leeds. It was reiterated that the safeguarding on this section will be lifted later this summer.

Land must be returned urgently

The NFU continued to call for the urgent return of land acquired by HS2 Ltd to the former farmers and landowners.

We will be having ongoing conversations with Department for Transport on timescales and when we are likely to receive an announcement from government on this, which we will update members on in due course.

The meeting also covered the longstanding issues surrounding compensation, alternative methods of dispute resolution where an agreement cannot be reached and how land which is no longer being used will be maintained.

The NFU stand ready to work with government to navigate these challenges which continue to affect members.

Step in the right direction

HS2 meeting

This was a positive meeting which allowed us to spell out clearly to government the concerns many of our members have and the urgent need for a fair and swift resolution.”

NFU Vice President David Exwood

Following the meeting, NFU Vice President David Exwood said: “This was a positive meeting which allowed us to spell out clearly to government the concerns many of our members have and the urgent need for a fair and swift resolution when it comes to land being offered back to former landowners, compensation and restoration.

“There is still so much uncertainty surrounding the HS2 project and it’s essential that those farm businesses which have been already so badly disrupted can start to rebuild and get back to doing what they do best – producing food and caring for the great British countryside.”

The NFU hopes this cross-government meeting provides a step in the right direction for an open channel of communication to ensure farm businesses already so badly disrupted by this project can start to rebuild their businesses.

Ask us a question about this page

Once you have submitted your query someone from NFU CallFirst will contact you. If needed, your query will then be passed to the appropriate NFU policy team.

You have 0 characters remaining.

By completing the form with your details on this page, you are agreeing to have this information sent to the NFU for the purposes of contacting you regarding your enquiry. Please take time to read the NFU’s Privacy Policy if you require further information.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.