More success in HS2 negotiations for our places
We've welcomed a number of commitments from HS2 Ltd following our concerns about the impact of the railway line on our Shugborough estate and the surrounding landscape.
These include establishing a Group with a £1.5 million fund for environmental enhancement measures in an area around the Cannock Chase Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) in Staffordshire.
HS2 Ltd made the commitments after we raised concerns to Parliament about Phase 2a of the proposed railway and the potential impacts on our Shugborough Estate within nationally and locally important landscapes, including the Cannock Chase AONB, Tixall and Ingestre Conservation areas, and a number of Sites of Special Scientific Interest.
We've worked in partnership with several stakeholders, including Staffordshire County Council, Natural England and the Canal & River Trust, as the ‘Trent-Sow Parklands and Cannock Chase AONB HS2 Group’ to assess the impact of HS2 on the area. HS2 Ltd’s formal support of the Group will allow it to continue this work.
" The successful integration of HS2, and particularly the Great Haywood Viaduct, within this landscape requires careful consideration and is a key concern of the Trust. We are pleased HS2 Ltd has recognised the role that the Group has in achieving this important aim."
HS2 Ltd also confirmed that solutions to limit noise from the Great Haywood Viaduct will continue to be explored, and committed to further dialogue with us as the construction programme becomes clearer.
Andy Beer, Midlands Director, said "Shugborough is an historic parkland estate of exceptional significance, enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of visitors every year. HS2 Ltd have a chance to ensure this precious and much loved place does not suffer damaging and permanent effects from the new railway and we will continue to play our part to ensure this happens. The commitments offered this week are a key step in the right direction".
The hybrid Bill for Phase 2a, which will give HS2 Ltd the powers to construct and operate the railway, is now at Select Committee stage in Parliament and the Trust had been preparing to present evidence about concerns and suggested solutions to the Committee. Despite the progress noted above, there are other issues regarding this section of the railway which still need resolved and on which the committee will hear evidence from others over the coming months.