Our response to major Phase 2b HS2 consultation
We have responded to a HS2 Ltd consultation on the Working Draft Environmental Statement, marking a key stage for those impacted by Phase 2b of the high speed railway. We continue to be very concerned about the impact of HS2 on special places, including those that we look after on behalf of the nation. We believe that there is much more that HS2 Ltd need to do to address the impacts of the scheme and to deliver improvements for people, places and nature.
Whilst we welcome HS2 Ltd’s Environmental Policy, Landscape Design Approach and the Green Corridor Strategy we are seriously concerned that the commitments made in these policies have not been adequately followed through in the proposals in the Working Draft Environment Statement.
There may be opportunities for HS2 Ltd to go beyond direct mitigation and provide enhancements for heritage assets or improved public access. We also believe that HS2 Ltd should adopt a policy of biodiversity net gain.
It is a major limitation of this consultation that details of vertical alignment and visualisations have not been made available in order for the public to properly understand the impact of HS2.