Our response to HS2 Phase 2b route refinement

Cattle in the parkland at Nostell Priory

In March 2017 we submitted a response to the High Speed 2 Phase 2b Route Refinement Consultation 2016. This consultation sought responses on seven route refinements that HS2 Ltd have put forward following further design work since the initial Phase 2 route consultation in 2013.

We have concerns about the changes to the route and supporting infrastructure at Nostell Priory near Wakefield, Hardwick Hall in Derbyshire and Dunham Massey and Tatton Park in Cheshire, where the railway could have major impacts. We also remain concerned about the potential impacts of the route on Calke Abbey and Staunton Harold Church in Derbyshire.

Of the seven route refinements presented we have submitted comments on ‘Derbyshire to West Yorkshire M18/Eastern route’ and the ‘Route along A42 around East Midlands Airport’. However, there other changes to the Phase 2b route that we have identified within the plans and that we have provided comment on these too.

Summary of our concerns

  • We do not support the route refinement that realigns the HS2 route closer to Nostell Priory, and we maintain our objections to the location of the Rolling Stock Depot planned at New Crofton.
  • At Hardwick we believe that the assessment of the large scale impacts on the heritage assets around Hardwick Hall and Stainsby is incomplete and therefore inaccurate.
  • At Dunham Massey we are very concerned that there appears to be no assessment or consideration given to the visual and noise impacts of the route on National Trust property and that there is no mention of impacts on this nationally important heritage asset.
  • The embankment close to Ashley, and in potential view of Tatton Park may be more visible than in earlier route alignments and further work will need to be undertaken at the appropriate time to determine this and how it may be mitigated fully within the EIA.

Next steps

We will continue to engage with HS2 Ltd in order to seek the best possible outcomes in terms of scheme and detailed design, and mitigation of the remaining impacts of the train line.

If HS2 is to be built, it should be to the highest possible standards of design that are sensitive to the natural, historic and amenity needs within the landscapes through which HS2 will pass, and this design must be delivered through early and consultative engagement.