Responding to the launch of the HS2 Design Panel, Ben Middlemiss, Senior HS2 Project and Stakeholder Manager at the National Trust, said: “We are pleased that the HS2 Design Panel has been appointed, and that the members have a broad range of expertise fitting with the magnitude and breadth of the task before them. With some of the 45 members announced today experienced in landscape architecture and the historic environment as well as in major infrastructure and town planning, we hope that the panel will be well supported in making the highest quality decisions. Design is central to the successful mitigation of the adverse impacts of HS2 as well as creating positive perceptions of the railway.
“The creation of site-specific design panels is also to be welcomed and they should work to respect the landscape character of places and communities affected by the railway and its necessary supporting infrastructure. We expect these site-specific design panels to be established for at least protected landscapes and historically significant buildings, as well as the hub stations and critical elements of the railway such as the Infrastructure Maintenance Depot at Calvert.
“HS2 Ltd now faces the challenge of building design into its ways of working, including how it engages with local communities and other stakeholders. The HS2 Design Panel needs to be given the remit to get to work as early as possible, particularly as the Phase 1 Bill is well on the way to Royal Assent, to deliver locally coherent design excellence along the route.