15.05.2024 /

Working with land and property owners along the route

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Land and property are fundamental to people’s lives. They represent where people live and the place they call home. They also represent people’s livelihoods, where people do business and make a living. Land and property can be expensive, which means they’re a key consideration for people when planning for the future.

That’s why we’re keen to work closely with land and property owners as we prepare and refine plans for East West Rail. We want land and property owners to be informed and involved and our recent Land Interest Questionnaires (LIQs) are a crucial part of this, helping us gather up-to-date ownership information and understand how the railway may affect people’s land.

 

To build a new railway, we need to understand its potential impact on land and property

East West Rail is a major infrastructure project that will deliver much-needed improvements to transport connections for communities and businesses between Oxford, Milton Keynes, Bedford and Cambridge.

To build the new railway – which will open up new destinations, cut travel times, ease congestion on local roads and brings jobs within reach of people living locally – we need to take account of how the railway might have an impact on people’s land. This is a responsibility that we take very seriously – and we’re working hard to find ways to reduce the impact on people whose land is potentially affected by our proposals.

 

How we work with land and property owners is a fundamental part of our work

As is typical for a project like East West Rail that’s still in the early stages of planning, it’s too early for us to know exactly what land will be affected by the railway. Further work needs to be carried out, and over the course of the Project we will need to access land and conduct more surveys to help us find out exactly what impact plans for the railway might have.

As we develop and refine proposals for East West Rail, we need to contact land and property owners to help understand whether they may be affected. The latest part of our work involves sending Land Interest Questionnaires (LIQs) to people whose land and property could potentially be affected by East West Rail.

LIQs are a legal requirement for Projects like East West Rail and they represent an essential part of the planning process. They’re a fact-finding exercise, helping us gather up-to-date information about who owns, occupies and uses land that may potentially be affected by the railway.  

This is important, as freeholders, leaseholders, tenants, occupiers or those with rights of access or easements in the land all have different land interests. Having this information means we can keep people fully informed about future public consultations and how they can get involved in the planning process.

 

What to do if you receive a Land Interest Questionnaire

LIQs were posted to households and landowners last month who might hold an interest in land potentially affected by the railway. The properties these were sent to were based on recent Land Registry and desktop searches. We’ve already received lots of responses to LIQs that have already been sent out – and response rates have been higher than those for other major Projects.

More LIQs will be sent out soon, so if you do receive a letter from us informing you that your land and property may ultimately be affected, we encourage you to respond, as it will help keep you informed about the Project and how it affects you.

We recognise that different households and properties will be affected in different ways. Some properties will now be closer to a railway, while other land will be required to build and operate the railway. With this in mind, it’s important to emphasise that receiving a LIQ does not necessarily indicate we will need to acquire or use the land. It purely means the land may be affected by the Project, which is why we’ve made contact.

We want to make sure the impact of East West Rail on people’s land and property is carefully considered and has a proper place in our plans, and understanding how people’s homes, properties, businesses and land might be affected is a crucial part of this. We’re holding our first statutory public consultation this summer where updated plans will be shared. We encourage people to get involved and provide their feedback. More details about the consultation will be shared in due course.

If you have any questions about the questionnaire, please do contact us by emailing [email protected].