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Help Kenilworth ‘disruption’ from HS2 build

Proposed impact during construction around Crackley Woods. image by HS2 Ltd

Proposed impact during construction around Crackley Woods. image by HS2 Ltd

Grab your last chance to influence how HS2 shapes Kenilworth’s countryside after a two week extension for consultations, urge councillors.

The consultation on the environmental statement- which contains 50,000 pages- was due to end on January 24.

But MPs ruled it would be extended to February 10 after it failed to comply with parliamentary standing orders.

And residents have been urged to have their say and protect Kenilworth’s countryside in the final weeks, regardless of personal opinion on the high speed rail scheme.

Kenilworth Town Council is due to submit its six-page response to the Department for Transport this week.

Cllr George Illingworth said issues including the rerouting of Canley Brook and sheer uptake of land needed for construction have been highlighted as alarming.

Plans currently include to reroute the brook, to temporarily divert the Greenway, dig out land to cross under the existing railway, instal vast cuttings and retaining walls and clear residential routes to allow for the new tracks.

Land at Stoneleigh, Kenilworth and Burton Green will also house construction camps and temporary access roads and during periods of construction - which could take years. Roads will be closed off and areas of land taken up for building works.

But Cllr Illingworth said many people are still unaware what long term impact these moves will have.

Urging residents to get to grips with the plans regardless of opinion on the high speed line, he said: “I am fairly certain that many people will not have seen these maps and have no idea just how much construction will affect our town.

“Even after construction it will take a generation at least for the land to recover.

“This is a very big thing for Kenilworth and the biggest worry is that there are still a lot of questions that do not have answers.

“We have not been given the information as to how exactly this work will be carried out as those decisions have not yet been made by HS2.”

HS2 engineers told residents at forum meetings that around Canley Brook is one of the most complicated on the London to Birmingham route.

And that the problems are being tackled as the project progresses to find the best possible solutions.

The environmental statement supports the hybrid bill and the consultation was given the minimum of eight weeks before this was extended to 10 by MPs this week.

A statement by HS2 Ltd states that: “The secretary of state will publish all comments received on the ES and submit them to an independent assessor appointed by Parliament.

“The independent assessor will prepare a report summarising the issues raised by the comments made on the ES.

“All comments received and the independent assessor’s report will be available to MPs at least 14 days in advance of the date fixed for the Second Reading debate on the Bill.”

See maps at www.hs2.org.uk/hs2-phase-one-hybrid-bill or at Kenilworth Library.

 

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