HS2 Phase 2: Our concerns

Last month HS2 Ltd issued their ‘Consultation on the route from the West Midlands to Manchester, Leeds and beyond’ which will seek views on the second phase of the proposed high speed rail route, as well as on the sustainability impacts of the proposed line of route.

From Birmingham, HS2 will split into two lines with the western leg of the route heading to Manchester and the eastern leg to Leeds. Intermediate stations for this part of the route would be built at Manchester Airport, Sheffield Meadowhall and Toton, between Nottingham and Derby.

Route of High Speed Rail 2

As a guardian of so many special places across England it is inevitable that the National Trust would be affected by a linear major infrastructure project such as HS2 and we have a number of concerns for phase two of the route where it passes through or near our places along the way.

We’ve been examining details of phase two of HS2 since the initial preferred route plans were released in January but we’ll be using the next few months to look at the new route more detail, to inform our response to the formal consultation.

Our concerns

Hardwick Hall, Derbyshire – architecturally significant 16th Century Elizabethan country house built for Bess of Hardwick, the richest woman in England after the Queen. It was designed by the architect Robert Smythson, to be a statement of her power and wealth overlooking the Derbyshire countryside.

HS2 would pass through the estate and so direct land-take is required for construction and operation which could have a significant and adverse impact on the landscape, our tenant farmers and the estate villages, Stainsby, Astwith and Hardstoft.

The south front seen from the Orchard in spring. ©National Trust Images-John Millar

The south front seen from the Orchard in spring. ©National Trust Images-John Millar

Dunham Massey and Tatton Park, Cheshire – Dunham Massey has a vast working estate and deer park. Tatton Park is one of the UK’s most complete historic estates with landscaped gardens, a rare-breed farm and 400 hectares of deer park. Set between the sprawl of Greater Manchester and rural Cheshire, Dunham Massey and Tatton Park afford the first substantial green spaces travelling south from the urban conurbation.

HS2 would run between the two estates close to south west edge of the Dunham Massey estate and within half a mile of the edge of Tatton Park. HS2 bridge structures over ship canal are due to be built 30m high.

Nostell Priory, near Wakefield, West Yorkshire – Nostell Priory & Parkland was the home of the Winn Family for over 350 years. It has one of the most important collections in the National Trust with Chippendale furniture made specially for Nostell, interiors by Robert Adam, paintings by Brueghel, Hogarth and Kauffmann, a John Harrison (Longitude) longcase clock and an 18th-century dolls’ house. The house is surrounded by gardens and 120 hectares of parkland.

While the HS2 line is 3km from the edge of Nostell, the New Crofton rolling stock depot is just less than 1km away. Heavy construction traffic for this vast depot are likely to use local roads.

Visitors and the entrance front at Nostell Priory, West Yorkshire.  ©National Trust Images/John Millar

Visitors and the entrance front at Nostell Priory, West Yorkshire. ©National Trust Images/John Millar

Shugborough Estate, Staffordshire, Calke Abbey and Staunton Harold Church, Derbyshire – Shugborough lies within the Cannock Chase Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and is within the Great Haywood and Shugborough Conservation Area. It is a Grade 1 Registered Park and Garden and contains numerous Listed Buildings. Calke Abbey is a baroque mansion that sits in an estate of 2,300 acres of which 600 acres is ancient parkland. The parkland is internationally important as a natural habitat with areas designated as a National Nature Reserve (NNR) and Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) in recognition of its wood pasture, with trees over 1000 years old.

We’ll be monitoring the situation at these as HS2 passes within 1km of Shugborough, 2km of Staunton Harold Church and 2.5km of Calke Abbey.

We have six months to respond to this consultation and during this time it is our intention to continue to engage as widely as possible, with the Department for Transport, HS2 Ltd, as well as local and regional stakeholders and communities.

This is the approach we have adopted on phase 1 between London and Birmingham. We believe it is the most effective way of ensuring the scheme is the best it can possibly be in respect of its final alignment and in terms of agreeing high quality design and mitigation standards.

Keep an eye on this blog for a series of articles over the coming weeks on the story of these places, what makes them special and who shaped their history.

3 thoughts on “HS2 Phase 2: Our concerns

  1. I hope that the following information will be of interest.

    Cheshire Innovation Consultancy specialise in producing viable engineering solutions to apparently intractable problems. We propose an alternative to HS2 that would increase the capacity of the existing rail network without affecting NT properties.
    It is presented at http://www.cheshire-innovation.com/Transport%20internet.htm

    I don’t expect the NT to get involved in technical engineering debates, but if you could use your publicity machinery to draw attention to our alternative this could spark a debate where the technical issues are tested.

  2. I hope that you will fight very hard to protect all our countryside and not believe all they say to minimise the impact.The amount of times they have made blunders and misinformed in consultations etc.I would not trust anything they say.

  3. You are remarkably polite in voicing your concerns considering the scale of unnecessary damage to communities, to wildlife and to cherished buildings that HS2 threatens. We will almost certainly need new tracks northwards from London but this can be achieved more effectively, cheaper and with less damage by following existing transport corridors, as with HS1 in Kent. It’s also remarkable that we have been going up the wrong path for 3 years without the government recognising it despite the welter of adverse comments from prominent commentators. How much longer?

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