Tuesday, June 11, 2019

News: More land in Rotherham needed for HS2

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HS2 Ltd has confirmed that it will need more land in order to construct the high speed rail route through Rotherham, adding more sites to its "safeguarding areas."

Rothbiz reported last year on the details released as part of a consultation which highlighted that more land is needed during construction. It described the design of the railway and reported on the impacts of its construction and operation.

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. Now further consultation is underway and new maps confirm the land required in the borough for construction compounds and road realignments.

Safeguarding is a planning tool to help the Government and HS2 Ltd protect the land that may be needed to build and operate the railway from conflicting development. Also guiding planning authorities, property owners within the safeguarding area can serve a Blight Notice asking the Secretary of State for Transport to buy their property prior to it being needed for construction of HS2.

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.

The maps show that greenbelt land at Waleswood that developers had identified for commercial development is needed by HS2. Where a viaduct is proposed at Aston, land has been safeguarded for a brand new section of the road in Aston Conservation Area to run on fields between the Grade II listed Aston Hall Hotel and the cricket club to join the A57 Aston bypass close to Aston ponds.

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At Thurcroft, safeguarding areas have been extended as further road realignments are proposed. Morthen Road is set to be realigned to cross above the new railway and motorway to maintain access between Thurcroft and Wickersley. On farmland adjacent to the Nine Trees Trading Estate, a new roundabout and realigned road would link to Brampton Road close to the Consort Hotel.

The new maps show the hotel left out of the safeguarding area whilst land all around it for the new roads is included (pictured).

Further land is required where a wind turbine stands in the way of the route at Ulley, and around a proposed viaduct over the M1 / M18 junction. At Bramley, farm land off Slacks Lane has been added to the safeguarding area with the land required for a construction compound.

Documents from HS2 state: "Although safeguarding for the Phase 2b route was only introduced in 2017, it was based on plans which pre-dated the Working Draft Environmental Statement designs that were subject to consultation in October 2018 and which provide draft environmental information for the Phase 2b route. Whilst the corridor of the route was protected by the Safeguarding Directions, many accompanying sites, particularly those a short distance from the HS2 line of route, fell outside the safeguarded area.

"Due to the interaction between safeguarding and the consultation on the Working Draft Environmental Statement and the proposed route design refinements, updated and revised Safeguarding Directions have now been issued to reflect these route changes."

A Northern Loop is yet to be confirmed connecting Sheffield Midland back to the HS2 line heading to and from Leeds. The latest maps show large amounts of land added to the safeguarding area around Clayton and Thurnscoe where HS2 Ltd have been assuming a that a junction between HS2 and the existing network would be constructed.

A Parkway station, which would bring big benefits to South Yorkshire, has also not yet been confirmed.

In its response to the previous consultation, Rotherham Council made it clear that it does not support HS2's revised alignment of the Birmingham to Leeds leg, calling on the Government to abandon the current scheme between Birmingham and Leeds immediately.

HS2 Ltd website

Images: HS2 Ltd

1 comments:

M Benson,  June 11, 2019 at 3:33 PM  

I thought that HS2 had initially denied that more land would be needed? However and much more to the point, an amateur group of people seem to have come up with a much less damaging and perfectly practical route for if HS2 actually gets as far as South Yorks. So much for the so called transport 'experts' versus the amateurs! Mind you, we have already seen their so called 'expertise' with the 'Tram Train' project (and Cross-Rail in London) - both late and both massively over budget. Who could trust them to get HS2 right??

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