Friday, July 22, 2005
The British Parliament approved the first stage of the new Crossrail underground railroad through London as a £15 billion construction project earlier this month. Crossrail is the first major new train line to be built in London in decades.
The rail line being implemented as a hybrid bill in Parliament. After a second reading in Parliament, it was voted upon and decided that the government will commit to the project so that the line will be built.
The next issue before Parliament of to ensure that the implementation of the bill so it is consistent with private interests of neighborhoods to be affected by Crossrail. This is when residents can petition Parliament to change the way the line is constructed.
As a result of construction of the Crossrail line, hundreds of homes will have new tunnels excavated beneath them.
On contacting Crossrail, they have indicated approximately £50 will be offered to each landowner to buy all the land rights-of-way to build the train tunnel more than 9 meters below the residential buildings. The average value for properties in the affected areas is £350,000.
Under UK compulsory purchase laws to be used in this bill, the residents are entitled to the difference in the value of the whole property with and without a tunnel under it. If the offer given by Crossrail is not accepted by any of the residents, the residents can take the case to the Land Tribunal, where the fair value will be established.
This however, could be cost prohibitive. Crossrail does not indicate that it will attempt to assign a fair value in the original offer and instead is only going to offer around £50 per property in the hope that not many people take the matter to the Land Tribunal.