We have compiled a list of questions and answers which we hope will explain the purpose of the LIQs.

Land Interest Questionnaires (LIQ) FAQs

    A Land Interest Questionnaire (LIQ) is part of the planning process for large-scale developments. The questionnaire is issued to help us identify the people and organisations with legal interests in land that may be affected by our Project. This process, called "Land Referencing," is all part of obtaining a Development Consent Order (DCO).

    Completing a LIQ is important because your response helps ensure we know who owns, occupies and uses the land. Having this information means we can keep you fully informed about our consultations and, later down the line, involvement in the DCO process.

    To reassure you, the LIQ is a fact gathering exercise only and if you decide not to complete it you will still be able to participate in any future consultations and the DCO process.

    The information you provide is essential. It helps us create the legally required documents for the Project's application process and ensures your interests are accurately reflected. Please see the further questions below for more detail of what happens with the information you provide.

    We are currently refining our proposals for the new East West Rail line, which will provide much needed connectivity for the communities between Oxford, Milton Keynes, Bedford and Cambridge. 

    As part of the development of our proposals, and as part of the pre-application process before submitting our DCO application, we regularly gather information on land ownership from HM Land Registry (HMLR). This information allows us to identify who owns land and homes along our route, to ensure that all parties potentially affected by the proposals are included in our communications so you’ll have the opportunity to comment on the proposed Project as it develops.

    We then issue the LIQ to confirm our records and to gather information about land ownership and any other land interests, such as tenants or other land users who might not be identified through desktop searches.

    As our Project develops and we learn more, we may issue additional LIQs to capture new information or confirm existing details.  We will use a similar questionnaire process for verification, ensuring our records are always kept up-to-date and reflect all relevant interests. This approach is intended to ensure we have accurate records of who owns or has interests in the land relevant to our Project.

    We are writing to ask you to complete the questionnaire to gather information about land and / or property that our searches have indicated you have an interest in. We ask you to confirm the interest you have in the land, for example, whether you are the freehold owner.

    In the questionnaire, we also ask for details of any other parties with interests – such as freeholders, leaseholders, tenants, occupiers or those with rights of access or easements in the land. Each identified party with an interest will then receive their own individual LIQ to complete.

    Your information will be used to fulfil the statutory obligations of the Project. Here is what your information will be used for:

    • Statutory documents: Information on all identified interests may be included in legally required documents, such as the Book of Reference, submitted to the Planning Inspectorate, in line with the Planning Act 2008, as part of our DCO application. This information will be limited to your full name/company name, address and interest in the property.
    • Notifications: If you are listed in the Book of Reference, we will notify you when the application is accepted for examination by the Planning Inspectorate. You'll also receive information on how to make representations about your land.
    • Keeping you informed: We will use your contact details to update you on our proposed plans at key milestones.

    You can find more information on the Book of Reference in the Planning Act 2008, Annex D, which can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/planning-act-2008-procedures-for-the-compulsory-acquisition-of-land.

    We understand the importance of privacy and protecting your information. What you share in the LIQ will be handled in accordance with our privacy policy which can be found at: https://eastwestrail.co.uk/privacy-at-ewr-co.

    If you give us personal information about other people you must first make sure that you have obtained all necessary permission from that person for you to pass this information on to us.

    This initial outreach is part of our Land Referencing process to identify people and organisations with a legal interest in properties or land that may potentially, either directly or indirectly, be affected by our Project. This is crucial to ensure we are keeping people and organisations informed and involved.

    If you have received a LIQ it means our recent Land Registry and desktop searches suggest you might hold an interest in land potentially affected by part of the Project.

    It is important to note that receiving a LIQ does not necessarily mean we will need to acquire or use your land or home for the Project. For example, the Project could impact your land in different ways, such as the proximity to the railway corridor or land on the preferred route alignment that may be required for the Project or impacted by the operation of the railway when constructed.

    We will share detailed proposals, including land needed for the Project, during the first stage of our statutory consultation in the summer of this year.

    The information gathered from the LIQs will be used to notify everyone with a legal interest in potentially affected land at the first stage of our statutory consultation. We will repeat this for our second stage of statutory consultation and again for our DCO application.

    We first issued LIQs to those who have a HMLR registered interest in the land and the LIQ is  sent to the address provided within the HMLR registers. We then send LIQs to any properties that are unregistered by using the Royal Mail address point data. These are addressed to "The Occupier" of these properties. We also do this for any properties where the registered owner’s address is not the property address. Any persons with interest in the land or property and over the ages of 18, should be captured and details provided of their interest.

    If you believe you should have received a LIQ you are welcome to contact us using the details below. This is an ongoing process and we will issue additional LIQs to capture new information or confirm existing details. 

    We are currently preparing our proposals and we will be able to share them during the first stage of our statutory consultation in the summer of this year. We will set out the potential impacts on land and property at this first stage of statutory consultation.

    We understand that the community would like certainty in terms of the impact of the Project on their homes, land and businesses. We are developing our designs for the railway, as well as the extent of land and property needed to build and operate the Project.

    We will also present an overview of potential environmental impacts and mitigations and have experts on hand to talk to you about how our proposals impact you.

    At every stage in the Project’s development we are committed to talking to all those potentially affected by our proposals and looking for options to mitigate any negative impacts wherever possible and practicable.

    If your land and property is identified as potentially needed by the Project in our consultation documents, you should consider taking independent professional advice, and we'd recommend you appoint a Chartered Surveyor with experience of compulsory purchase from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

    No, receiving (or not receiving) or completing a LIQ doesn't determine your eligibility for future compensation. The LIQ is an information gathering exercise.

    We understand that a two-week response time may be challenging.  This timeframe is meant as a prompt to encourage timely responses and keep the process moving smoothly.

    However, we value input from all landowners. If you are unable to respond within two weeks, don't worry. We will follow up with you directly and may even reach out in person to ensure we can gather as much information as possible. All responses, regardless of when they are received, will be carefully considered as part of our Land Referencing process.

    No, the purpose of this exercise is to help us identify and have the correct contact details for all people and organisations whose land is potentially affected by our Project.

    In most cases, you will be able to complete the LIQ yourself, using the additional guidance at the back of the questionnaire if necessary. However, if you would like assistance, please contact us using the details below and we will discuss how best we can assist you.

    If you consider that your circumstances mean that you require professional assistance, we would encourage you to consider appointing an appropriate advisor. In such cases, please request your advisor to get in touch with us.  

    We will not normally reimburse professional fees for completion of a LIQ. However, please do speak to us if there are circumstances that should be considered in a particular case.

    We will already hold mortgage lender details as these are publicly available through HM Land Registry (HMLR). We ask you to confirm these details through a LIQ to ensure that these details are up to date.

    A mortgage lender will also receive a LIQ themselves, as they have a registered interest.

    If you are selling your property, please speak to your solicitor or conveyancer and make them aware of the LIQ.

    If you are having difficulty selling your property because of the Project, please contact us. We introduced the Need to Sell Property Scheme (NTS) Property scheme in 2023 to offer support to those that need to sell their property but are unable to do so because of the Project.

    Details of the scheme, including eligibility criteria, are included in our Guide to the Need to Sell Property Scheme at: www.eastwestrail.co.uk/needtosell

    If you want to speak to us about the Need to Sell Property Scheme, please contact the dedicated NTS team by phone on 0330 838 7583 or email us at [email protected].

    Yes, please get in touch with us using the contact details below to discuss different translations.

    We recognise that both your circumstances and the information you provide can change. To keep our records accurate, there will be multiple opportunities for you to inform us of any changes in your circumstances or previously provided details.

    Email us: [email protected]

    Message us: www.eastwestrail.co.uk/get-in-touch

    Call us: 0330 8387583 (24/7, but our dedicated Land & Property Team are available Mon - Fri, 9 am - 5 pm)

    Write to us: Freepost EAST WEST RAIL LAND

    Sign up for project updates: www.eastwestrail.co.uk

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