Warwickshire County Council Briefing Note on HS2 November 2013

Warwickshire County Council

Briefing Note on HS2

November 2013

Briefings on HS2 from the County Council aim to provide an overview of the current activities around the high speed rail proposals and in particular we are issuing this Briefing as the Hybrid Bill is deposited in the House of Commons.

Further information can be found on our web site  and HS2’s site which is available at www.hs2.org.uk.  Information is also now being made available on the gov.uk site.

HYBRID BILL

The Hybrid Bill will be deposited in the House of Commons on 25 November and will be available on the Parliament website by going to www.parliament.uk/business/bills-and-legislation/ .

The County Council is expecting to receive a full copy of the Hybrid Bill documentation. It has now been agreed that the Parish Councils will receive only parts of the extensive documentation in printed copies along with the remainder provided electronically.  A full printed copy will be deposited in Leamington Library and the other libraries will make provision for it to be held electronically.

The full list of what is being deposited where and how you can access it is available on our web site and at the end of this briefing.

The Hybrid Bill process is used in this case as an alternative approach to dealing with a scheme through the traditional Town and Country Planning system.  A Hybrid Bill process is when a bill has both the characteristics of a public  and a private bill.  The process is used when the content of a bill is of general interest but would significantly affect the interests of certain individuals or organisations.  It is not a process which is used very often and the last time it was used was for the Crossrail Bill in 2004.

For full details of the Hybrid Bill process and details of who can make representation or petition can be found in a useful overview provided by HS2 Ltd which is available on our website at www.warwickshire.gov.uk/hs2.  A document which provides an explanation of the process is the House of Commons Factsheet.

The County Council will be seeking Full Council approval in the New Year to petition during the Parliamentary process.

The High Speed Rail (Preparation) Bill which authorises the government to start spending money on preparing the project has been passed by the House of Lords and has now been sent for Royal Assent.

CONSULTATIONS

 

Phase One

Property Compensation 2013 Consultation for the London – West Midlands HS2 route

The Property Compensation 2013 Consultation for the London to the West Midlands route was launched on 12 September 2013 and it will close on 4 December 2013. The County Council will be submitting a response to the consultation. For further information on this www.gov.uk/government/consultations/hs2-property-compensation-consultation-2013.

Phase Two

The consultation on the proposed route alignment for Phase 2, was launched on 17 July and closes on 31 January 2014. The County Council’s Cabinet on 12 December  consider the County Council’s response to the consultation.

You will find all the information at www.hs2.org.uk/developing-hs2/consultations

COMMUNITY FORUMS AND ROAD SHOWS

Phase One

Community Forums have now finished but HS2 Ltd intends to consider providing new ways to engage with the community in the future.

Phase Two

Community Forums for Phase 2 will begin once the consultation on the route alignment has closed and any route refinements have been identified. It is unlikely that these will get under way until the autumn of 2014 at the earliest.

Road shows for Phase Two have been taking place and there is one more 4 December 12noon -8pm Tamworth Assembly Rooms, Corporation Street, Tamworth B79 7DN

IN THE NEWS

In the last Briefing we listed a number of reports that had been published either supporting or challenging the scheme. Since then high speed rail has continued to hit the headlines and  the following items have been amongst them:

  • HS2 published The Strategic Case for HS2 which revised down the economic benefits of the scheme taking in to account that business travellers would work on the train.
  • On 30 October MPs voted on the paving bill for HS2 at the report and third reading stage of its progress through Parliament. The Bill is designed to provide for the interim funding needed for HS2. 34 MPs voted against the Bill and 340 in favour.
  • The new Chairman of HS2 Sir David Higgins, who takes up his position in the New Year, has been tasked by the Prime Minister with reducing the cost of the scheme by 10% and maximise the benefits.
  • The Commons Transport Select Committee examined the report on HS2 prepared by KPMG on the benefits of the scheme.
  • Proposals to reduce the cost of HS2 by one third through the lease of the track to a private company were made by Lord Heseltine in a speech to the Royal Town Planning Institute in early November.

What is WCC DOING?

  • We are discussing with HS2 Ltd impacts of the Hybrid Bill and the new planning regime.
  • We are working with North Warwickshire Borough Council, Stratford District Council and Warwick District Council to discuss the Hybrid Bill and the petitioning process
  • We are developing a Warwickshire Blueprint in response to HS2
  • We are continuing to engage and meet with action groups.
  • We are taking a report to the WCC Cabinet on 12 December on the Phase 2 consultation.

KEY FACTS AND FIGURES

You may find the following key facts about the scheme interesting and useful in understanding the impact on Warwickshire.

Phase 1
  • 50Km of rail track which equates to 22% of the 230km Phase 1 route is in Warwickshire
  • The route goes across or within 1km of 27 Parish and Town Council areas in Warwickshire
  • The land take will be some 2440 acres or 9.9sq.km
  • 43 rail viaducts up to 1500m long are planned of which 35 viaducts totalling 10.7km are in areas close to Coleshill and North Warwickshire
  • 43 highway junction or road alignment sites are included involving 29 new over bridges and 3 under bridges
  • A 1.9km tunnel is to be built near Southam
  • 1.2Km by 500m rail head is to be built near Hams Hall
  • 45 changes to Public Rights of Way and bridleways  will be required involving 11 new structure
  • 10 watercourse diversions  are needed including a 1150m long diversion of Canley Brook
  • 7 main and 74 satellite construction and compound sites will be needed
  • 7 temporary accommodation sites are planned
  • The construction period will run from 2017 through to 2026

Phase 2

  • 18Km of rail track for Phase 2 are in Warwickshire
  • Temporary diversion of M42 near Birchmoor will be required
  • 11 County Road crossings are
  • Kingsbury Water Park and Pooley Fields which are County Council facilities will be severely affected.
  • Construction period will be from 2026 through to 2032

Some parts of Warwickshire will be impacted by both Phase 1 and Phase 2 and could be affected by construction work from 2013 until 2032 -19 years.

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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