An independent panel will decide on compensation claims made by householders affected by the planned HS2 link between London and Birmingham. Under the Exceptional Hardship Scheme, the panel will review claims on a case-by-case basis. The Government will then buy homes and business properties affected by their proximity to HS2.

The offer applies only to properties on the preferred route of the HS2 track – which leaves London via Ruislip and passes near Amersham, Wendover and Aylesbury before approaching Birmingham between Coventry and Kenilworth – and not to two alternative routes, which follow more westerly or easterly routes.

Those that wish to claim will have to show that their property has been on the market for at least three months and has failed to attract any offers above 85 per cent of its value before the route was announced in March.

The Exceptional Hardship Scheme is intended to ensure that “people who currently are faced with extreme hardship as a result of the identification of that route have the possibility of being able to sell their properties, notwithstanding the inevitable planning blight,” said transport secretary Philip Hammond.