Last month HS2 announced that it was to delay the submission of the Hybrid Bill for Phase 2B of the route until 2020 so that it could work with the Northern Powerhouse Rail to enhance the East – West links and improve the service as a whole. Since then HS2 has subsequently published two key draft documents which will support the Hybrid Bill, for consultation.
Last week HS2 published its draft Environmental Statement which describes the design of the railway and considers the impact of its construction and operation on the areas affected, together with its Equality Impact Assessment Report which looks at the potential effects of the railway’s construction and operation on people with protected characteristics.
Both documents are subject to a 10 week consultation which is due to close on 21 December 2018. This will give affected communities and parties opportunity to formally respond to the design and proposed mitigation measures for the route. This is the first time more details on the route have been issued since the Department for Transport (DfT) and HS2 published the initial route and safeguarded areas in 2016.
Other commentators have responded to the draft Environmental Statement over the past few days. The Woodland Trust advised that at least 19 ancient woods will be lost, which is double their initial estimate.
“Such news is certainly one explanation as to last month’s decision to delay the submission of the Bill. Furthermore the scale of construction will have a huge impact on the wellbeing of many residents, particularly with mental health being a major topic at the moment” said Stephen Lashmar.
Despite the delay HS2 still remain of the opinion that the line will be fully operational by 2033.
Here at Roger Hannah & Co we keep a keen eye on all HS2 movements and news as part of our dedicated service for clients. If you’d like to find out more as to how HS2 could impact on your property, please get in touch with our specialist team.