Sir David Higgins’ ‘Rebalancing Britain’ report published on Monday recommends the continued use of the ‘Y route’, and while the National Trust remains significantly concerned by route and its impact on special places, we welcome the improved certainty that this recommendation brings.
Given that the route consultation that ended in January 2014 was on the ‘Y route’, we continue to wait for detailed feedback, analysis and consideration of our concerns, and those of many others, raised in that route consultation.
As the report was launched, the Chancellor of the Exchequer emphasised local involvement in planning HS2. We strongly support local community involvement and engagement to deliver quality that stands the test of time for stations and along the whole route, as the Government writes its signature across the British landscape.
Sir David Higgins draws attention to high speed rail construction in France delivering quicker and cheaper solutions. Doing this for HS2 must not come at the expense of design quality and the sensitivity with which it is delivered that will mark its true legacy.
The report addresses ‘HS3’ and East – West connections in the North. As HS2 Ltd scopes this concept, we expect and encourage them to consider the ecological and community impacts of the line, particularly as it moves through the Pennines.
We remain very concerned by the impacts on Hardwick Hall near Chesterfield and Nostell Priory near Wakefield that Phase 2 threatens. Changes recommended in this report have the potential to increase the impacts on special places at Calke Abbey and Staunton Harold near Derby, Dunham Massey near Altrincham and Tatton Park near Knutsford; and to accelerate the impacts on Shugborough Hall near Rugeley. We look forward to detailed engagement with HS2 Ltd to addressing these impacts.