HS2 – council sets out its proposals
A hard-hitting package of measures to help tackle the impact of HS2 in Erewash will be discussed by councillors at a meeting of Erewash Borough Council’s Executive next week.
The council’s proposed Mitigation Plan is part of the continuing work to get the best possible deal for local residents and businesses and has been drawn up in response to HS2 Ltd’s consultation on its draft Environmental Statement released last month.
In an introduction to the Plan, the council says that, despite HS2 making it clear that Long Eaton, Sandiacre and the Trent Valley would be adversely affected, its latest suggestions do nothing to reduce the major impact the project will have on the borough.
Now councillors will be asked to agree a straight-talking response that outlines the vital measures that Erewash Borough Council wants in place to deal with key issues like traffic, demolition of homes, compensation for home owners and the impact on Long Eaton town centre – which will be the worst affected by HS2.
The Mitigation Plan, which builds on the council’s previous responses to HS2 consultation, is expected to be sent to the next Full Council meeting on Thursday 13 December for approval. The venue for that meeting is now Long Eaton Town Hall after requests received from residents.
Councillor Carol Hart, Leader of Erewash Borough Council, says:
“Our priority has always been to work to get the best and fairest deal for those most affected by HS2 and we remain committed to doing just that. I can assure residents that this council is working tirelessly to address all the serious issues that the HS2 project brings and this Mitigation Plan is a forthright message to HS2 that we are fighting for, and want, the best possible deal for our communities here in Erewash.
“Much hard work has already been carried out by this council on behalf of our residents and businesses. Now we are setting out, in very clear and thorough terms, just what our concerns are and what we want to see happen to reduce the impact.”
Among the proposals listed are:
• Homeowners on the east side of both Bonsall Street and New Tythe Street in Long Eaton to be compensated – with residents offered the choice of selling their homes to HS2 Ltd at compulsory purchase terms or to receive a £30,000 impact payment if they choose to stay in their homes.
• The low level rail line to close because frequent closures of the level crossings on Station Street and Main Street would cause traffic gridlock in Long Eaton town centre. The creation of a new high level link to the Midland Mainline to Derby is proposed and the level crossing areas turned into streets.
• Re-aligning the viaduct to save 41 homes on Bonsall Street from demolition.
• Several other proposed changes are suggested to tackle fears that Long Eaton will be split in two, with HS2 cutting through the town centre on a 19metre-high viaduct. These include calling for a bespoke design for the viaduct to integrate with the townscape and to feature modern business space in the form of 21st Century railway arches.
• Road access from Long Eaton to the Toton hub must be provided instead of HS2’s current proposal which would see residents having to take a 5km journey to the station – which is actually only 1km away as the crow flies.
• Acquire and develop the former Stadium Industrial Estate in Long Eaton to develop housing suitable for those who lose their homes to make way for HS2.
• Investment provided to refurbish the upper floors of Victorian lace mills to provide relocation opportunities for Long Eaton’s world famous upholstery businesses.
The Mitigation Plan also includes proposals to lessen the impact of the HS2 route at Sandiacre Meadows and through the Trent Valley.
Councillor Michael Powell, Erewash Borough Council’s Lead Member for Regeneration and Planning, says:
“We have produced very detailed and comprehensive proposals that we believe are both reasonable and necessary, things that will make a real difference and lessen the impact on the residents and businesses of our borough.”
The proposed HS2 Mitigation Plan can be read in full on the council’s website at www.erewash.gov.uk within the agenda for the Council Executive meeting on Tuesday 4 December. The meeting is at Long Eaton Town Hall at 10.30am.