Monday, October 15, 2018

News: HS2 release further info on how route affects Rotherham

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HS2 Ltd has begun consultation on environmental impacts and mitigation as the designs evolve for the high speed route which is set to head through Rotherham. It highlights that more land is needed during construction.

In July 2017, the Secretary of State for Transport confirmed the preferred route for the £55.7 billion HS2 project from Crewe to Manchester and from the West Midlands to Leeds (known as Phase 2b). A spur to Sheffield is included and the fast route to Leeds would go through the East of Rotherham and would affect Wales, Aston, Ulley, Brampton-en-le–Morthen, Thurcroft, Bramley, Ravenfield and Hooton Roberts. A new housing estate at Mexborough will also have to make way.

Consultation is underway on the working draft Environmental Statement, which describes the design of the railway and reports on the impacts of its construction and operation, alongside the measures proposed to reduce and monitor these impacts; and the working draft Equality Impact Assessment Report.

The public consultations will be supported by a programme of community events, which will see teams from HS2 Ltd visit locations across the eastern and western legs of the Phase 2b route to talk to people about the design plans.

Hellaby Hall Hotel hosts an event on October 30 with the Best Western Aston Hall Hotel hosting HS2 Ltd on November 6.

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As the bills make their way through Parliament, design work has continued on how the line may look, from box tunnels, cuttings and embankments, to bridges and viaducts.

Entering the borough from the South, the route follows the M1 and passes to the west of Woodhall Services to Wales on a series of cuttings with embankments. The route crosses School Road at Wales before continuing through cuttings and an underground box before a 244m long, 18m high viaduct over the Sheffield to Worksop Railway, Pigeon Brook and floodplains at Aston. Nicker Wood embankment is set to be 513m in length and up to 21m in height with futher embankments and a cutting at the A57 near to Junction 31 of the M1.

The route passes the M1/M18 junction on a series of long, high embankments and viaducts. The Ulley embankment is 1.2km in length and up to 21m in height and Thurcroft North viaduct would be 640m in length and up to 22m in height, crossing over the M18. Noise barriers are proposed here.

A retained cut is proposed at Bramley and Hellaby before the route heads northwards on an embankment before it passes beneath the A630 Doncaster Road in a cutting.

The Proposed Scheme is expected to be constructed between 2023 and 2033. Details of locations for construction compounds and road realignments were released in June and now the latest documents show what land is needed for the construction of the route.

The maps show further areas around the route as "land potentially required during construction" and land for "temporary material stockpile."

HS2 Ltd state in the documents: "Based upon a reasonable worst-case approach, the design and assessment at this stage generally assumes that all property falling within the land required for the Proposed Scheme would be demolished to enable construction and operation. However, as the design develops, it is likely that not all the properties reported within the assessment would need to be demolished, for example where not all of the land is required for permanent works.

"Land used only for construction purposes would be restored as agreed with the owner of the land and the relevant planning authority once the construction works in that area are complete."

The documents confirm: the loss of 15 residential properties in Wales; the loss of 40% of Aston Park and Engine House Plantation in Aston; the permanent loss of Parklands Equestrian Centre in Aston; the demolition of two residential properties on Worksop Road, that the route would "permanently physically affect two Grade II listed buildings at Nickerwood Farm"; the demolition of a wind turbine located within Penny Hill Wind Farm.

Work is also continuing on mitigation measures such as restricting working hours, screening views, dealing with noise during construction and operation, providing links and access, creating new habitats and avoiding or reducing impacts on floodplains.

The documents also mention the "northern loop" to join the HS2 line with Sheffield station, which is yet to be confirmed by the Government in terms of funding or inclusion in the HS2 project. Designs are being developed for a 6.7km long Sheffield Northern spur between Clayton and Thurnscoe which would connect the Dearne Valley Line existing railway to HS2.

Leonie Dubois, head of consultation and engagement at HS2 Ltd, said: "HS2 is coming to the north and it will reap significant benefits as a result. High speed rail will play a crucial role in rebalancing Britain's economy; driving business growth, stimulating investment and creating jobs right across the country.

"Through the public consultations, we are providing a more detailed account of how we propose to build the railway and minimise its impacts during construction and operation. We actively encourage people to have their say on the plans we have published today."

HS2 website

Images: HS2 Ltd

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