New powers will help manage HS2

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Warwickshire now has more powers to help mitigate the impact of HS2 when construction starts across the county.

Warwickshire County and Warwick District Councils are now qualifying authorities - meaning they can give consent and approvals for works while the line is being built.

The councils have both voted to take on the status and will be responsible for issuing consents over building work, cuttings, pedestrian access and highways.

While it does not give powers to outright object proposals, the councils can raise concerns and suggest alternatives if they feel moves could have a negative impact on the area or its residents.

Without the status they would have far less of a say over how the Government proceeds with the high speed railway in the coming years.

A county council spokesperson said: “Around a third of this route goes through Warwickshire and it makes sense for us to have as much control in place as we can.

“This position means we have some control over more aspects of how HS2 will operate in Warwickshire.

“We have a say in traffic management agreements that would have a big impact.

“For example if a major route went past a school, this would give us the powers to step in and suggest another route as that would not be acceptable in terms of traffic.

“We cannot control decisions, but can hold them to the best account possible within the legislation.”

The county can now have a say on roads and highways.

The district’s powers will extend to helping to manage cuttings and lighting.