How HS2 will affect Hardwick Hall

Visitors walking towards Hardwick Hall

Hardwick is one of England’s most instantly recognisable country houses. The setting for Hardwick includes the greater landscape flowing away from it, through which local people see the house and visitors get their first glimpse of the property. Our work at Hardwick starts, as it does everywhere, with our founding cause; to look after our nation’s most precious places forever, for everyone.

We're deeply concerned and disappointed by the proposals in the Working Draft Environmental Statement consultation for Hardwick. They do not reflect the serious concerns that we have expressed to HS2 Ltd over a number of years.

Our concerns

The proposed route passes 2km through the estate and we're very worried about several specific design features including:

  • Visibility of the Hardstoft North Cutting
  • The realignment of Hawking Lane and the closure of Mill Lane, the current visitor entrance route.
  • The location of the Great Pond Autotransformer Station and the design of the balancing pond northwest of the Astwith cutting
  • Significant loss of connectivity between the Park and its historic villages

Our mitigation proposals address these issues in detail. For example, our proposals include earth bunds and tree planting between HS2 and the M1 to mitigate noise and visual impacts of HS2; an underbridge for Hawking Lane below HS2 to maintain one-way visitor traffic flow and maintain local access; and a green bridge over both HS2 and the M1 as an alternative to diverting Mill Lane which would also improve connectivity for people and wildlife.

We consider that the historic environment assessment in the Working Draft Environmental Statement underplays the impact of HS2 on Hardwick Hall, Old Hall and Registered Historic Park and Garden. We also believe that there will be long term major landscape and visual impacts in and around Hardwick.

There will be major disruption for visitors to Hardwick and for the local community due to the major works to M1 J29 and to local roads.