Councillors have turned their attention to fight off devastating effects which will leave them in a ‘ghost town’ rather than trying to fend off HS2.
Kenilworth’s town councillors agreed to shift focus from fighting off the high speed line to instead prevent the billion pound scheme devastating the town’s businesses.
Speaking at a meeting on Thursday night, Cllr George Illingworth (Con, Abbey) said that with the HS2 hybrid bill ready to go back before mainly supportive MPs, there is very little chance of the scheme not going ahead as planned.
And that after submitting pleas and responses to the environmental statement, they must now focus all efforts on petitioning the government for mitigating measures so that years of road closures and construction work does not kill off Kenilworth.
“We have to, in a sense, stop opposing HS2 and start working on mitigation and getting the best for the town,” he said.
“We have to be positive whatever happens and make sure businesses and services survive this.
“This will affect a lot of business in town which are not entitled for any compensation measures at all.
“Then, we have to think about people getting into town to see doctors or police or our emergency services.”
Of 138 responses to the consultation submitted from in and around Kenilworth, main issues raised were over traffic, noise and pollution.
The bill will return to the House of Commons for its second reading on April 28.
Petitioning is now open for these points to be addressed and corrected before the bill continues in Parliament.
Councillors will petition for maximum mitigation measures for Kenilworth.
Felicity Bunker, town mayor, urged the council to “put up a fight” to defend the town.
Cllr Michael Coker, (Con, Abbey) said he didn’t think they had “any alternative” but to present a petition to the government addressing all negative matters for Kenilworth.
“This could be disastrous and the next two weeks of road closures on the A452 will show just how much havoc is caused when you cut off a road into Kenilworth,” he said.
“There will hardly be an entrance or exit from the town what wont be affected unless this is managed very well.
Kenilworth Golf Club, the Greenway Trust and opposition groups are all expected to petition over the bill.
Cllr Dave Shilton (Con, Parkhill) said: “I hope it is never the case, but Kenilworth would become a ghost town. It will be closed off and the effects of that will remain in place for a long time to come.
“That should be our biggest objection in this petition.”