Overview of High Speed Rail 2 (HS2) Phase 1, 2A & 2B

View over the lake towards the west front of the house at Claydon, Buckinghamshire.

The Government is developing a new national high speed rail network (HS2) connecting London to Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester, the most significant transport infrastructure project in the UK since the building of the motorways.

Our project team, including rail engineering, landscape architecture and landscape planning experts, works with our regional consultancy and property teams to undertake thorough assessments of the potential impacts of the railway and it’s infrastructure on our places; promote improved treatments that benefit our places, the environment and communities affected; and, negotiate changes with statutory bodies, especially HS2 Ltd.

Phase 1 (London to Birmingham)

We have negotiated undertakings from the Secretary of State for Transport with regards to mitigating impacts on our places affected by Phase 1 of the route and these undertakings offer better protection for Hartwell House, Waddesdon Manor, Claydon House, Coombe Hill, West Wycombe Village and Bradenham in Buckinghamshire.

With the detailed design due to be confirmed after the HS2 Bill receives Royal Assent, these undertakings also ensure that the detail that emerges from this stage is right for our special places.

We are encouraging HS2 Ltd to design and build the railway to exemplary design and environmental standards and strongly believe that HS2 Ltd’s approach to the environment ought to be thorough and sympathetic.

Phase 2A (Birmingham to Crewe)

On 30 November 2015 the Government announced plans to create Phase 2A of the route from Birmingham to Crewe that would see this section built six years before the rest of Phase 2. 

Since then we have been working with experts to understand the impact of this section of the route on Shugborough. The route is due to pass less than 1km north of Shugborough on an elevated section, including the Great Haywood Viaduct. The route will be visible and audible from key points within Shugborough Park, which sits wholly in the Cannock Chase Area of Outstanding National Beauty. 

We have developed proposals to reduce the impact of HS2 on this area and have been negotiating with HS2 Ltd to ensure these are included in the plans for the railway. On 14 May 2018 we reached agreement with HS2 Ltd on this, which included securing funding for additional mitigation measures in and around the Cannock Chase AONB. Further detail can be seen in the below article ‘More success in HS2 negotiations for our places’.

Phase 2B (Birmingham and Crewe to Leeds and Manchester)

On 17 July 2013 the Government launched a consultation for proposed route for Phase 2 of the high speed line, linking Birmingham with both Manchester and Leeds.

We are deeply concerned about the impacts of the route chosen for the line up to Leeds where it passes through the Hardwick Estate near Chesterfield, Derbyshire.

We are also concerned about potential indirect impacts on Calke Abbey near Derby, Staunton Harold Church in Leicestershire, and Nostell Priory near Wakefield on the eastern side of the Y route. The western link could have impacts on Dunham Massey near Altrincham and Tatton Park near Knutsford.

We are working to develop our understanding of the vulnerabilities of these special places and the potential impacts of the scheme based on what we have learned from Phase 1 and 2A.