Briefing Note on HS2 – October 2012

WCC Cabinet

Cabinet received a report at its September meeting which included 12 sets of mitigation proposals, put forward by the Community. The proposals have been developed with assistance from officers at the County Council. Detailed maps and descriptions of the proposals have been published on the website at www.warwickshire.gov.uk/hs2

Cabinet were concerned to hear that proposals for supporting infrastructure, such as a 2km maintenance loop at Priors Hardwick, were presented by HS2 Ltd at recent Community Forum meetings, with only a few hours notice about these given to officers of the County Council. Deputy Leader of the County Council, Cllr Bob Stevens, has written to the Secretary of State for Transport to express his dismay and regret at HS2 Ltd’s apparent disregard for the communities of Warwickshire in their handling of these sensitive issues.

In a separate letter to Alison Munro, Chief Executive of HS2 Ltd, the Leader of the County Council, Alan Farnell, has asked HS2 Ltd. to reconsider how it is currently engaging with the Council and communities to improve communication.

HS2 Community Forums

The third round of HS2 Community Forums in Warwickshire is now complete. In addition to the supporting infrastructure proposals mentioned above, the Forums saw presentations from HS2 Ltd on noise and the development of a Code of Construction Practice. The slides for these can be found on the HS2 website. All of the participants at the forum meetings have been sent a copy of the slides for reference.

The presentations are:

An introduction to HS2 Ltd.’s Approach to Managing Noise

Towards a Code of Construction Practice

Further details of the Forums are on the DfT/ HS2 website at http://highspeedrail.dft.gov.uk/forums/community-forums. The fourth round of HS2 Community Forum meetings will be as follows:

Ladbroke & Southam – 7th November

Middleton & Curdworth – 13th November

Burton Green, Kenilworth & Stoneleigh – 21st November

Coleshill Junction – 15th November

Offchurch & Cubbington – 27th November

 Consultation & Safeguarding Route

The consultations on blight and compensation and the safeguarding route have not yet been announced. HS2 Ltd. accepts this is later than originally published. The Secretary of State for Transport will decide on a release date, likely to be sometime in the autumn, and the consultation is due to run for 12 weeks from the date of its announcement.

Judicial Review

The date for the Judicial Review hearing has been confirmed as 3rd December. We understand it is listed at the High Court to take up to seven days.

Planning Forum

The third session was held on 12th September with HS2 Ltd. The meeting was dominated by the news that Priors Hardwick may be subject to additional, previously unidentified development, as well as some unspecific proposed locations for construction compounds. Unfortunately the local authorities have not been given plans in order to identify the exact locations. Copies of plans for all additional proposed infrastructure in Warwickshire were requested at the Planning Forum.

Missing Consultation Data

There have been two known instances of data being lost after the initial consultation responses on the proposals for a high speed rail line were transferred for analysis. An addendum report was published in July 2012 covering the first known set of missing responses: High Speed Rail: Investing in Britain’s future consultation summary report addendum 1. A second set of mislaid responses has also now been retrieved and analysed and a further addendum report produced by Dialogue by Design: High Speed Rail: Investing in Britain’s Future consultation summary report addendum 2 A report to Government by Dialogue by Design.

For further clarification on any of the above, please contact Mandy Walker or Sara Board on 01926 412830 or email: HS2@warwickshire.gov.uk

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