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Tuesday, 7 July 2020 - 9:38am

HS2: Jobs, wildlife and mental health will all suffer, says report

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A report by HS2 has found:

  • 1,000 jobs would be lost or displaced
  • 91 percent of the wildlife on the Toton Sidings site would be completely destroyed by the construction of high speed line.
  • A52 would need to be moved 25 metres to the south, with roadwork taking two years, it was also revealed.
  • In Ratcliffe on Soar, Toton, Stapleford and Long Eaton, 183 houses, 52 commercial properties and 18 other buildings would have to be demolished.
  • The scale of the construction could adversely affect the health and wellbeing of residents, and people’s mental health in the area, the report found.

Among the buildings demolished would be the Greenwood Community Centre in Toton, the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Long Eaton, and the Midland Hotel in Stapleford.

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In all three cases, it said the demolitions would “result in a major adverse effect which would be significant”.

However the Government said there will also be significant benefits – helping to rebalance the economy and drive business growth.

The line aims to reduce journey time and increase capacity. Stations are proposed in London, Birmingham, Sheffield, Manchester and Leeds, as well as at Toton.

An extension of Nottingham’s tram network to the new station would be factored in to the development of the new station, according to the report.

HS2 station

The report said: “Vehicular access would be provided from the A52 Brian Clough Way and allowance for a corridor for a future extension of the Nottingham Express Transit tramline on the east side of the station.”

The building work around Long Eaton, Stapleford and Toton would last eight years – from 2025 to 2033, and the Long Eaton viaduct would be even larger than previously planned – 19 metres rather than 17. Four-metre tall sound barriers would also be on the viaduct.

Despite the sound walls, the daytime noise levels from the railway in parts of Long Eaton, Toton and Stapleford may exceed the threshold set in the noise insulation regulations, according to the report.

Hs2 map stapleford

The new details come from a raft of documents published by the Government today, including an environmental statement. It has launched a public consultation on the plans.

Around 4,000 car parking spaces would be needed, and would be built to the east and west of the station.

The report also admitted there would be a significant impact on traffic levels in the area.

It said construction of the railway around Long Eaton would lead to increased congestion on the M1, A52, A453, A6005, B5010 and B6002, as well as other local roads.

HS2 map

There would also be an increase in air pollution from the congestion caused, as well as the heavy construction machinery operating.

It said: “Construction activity could also affect local air quality through the additional traffic generated on local roads as a result of construction vehicles and through changes to traffic patterns arising from temporary road diversions and realignments.”

The environmental report also said there is a danger to owls.

It said “barn owls are at risk of colliding with trains”, particularly near the River Trent.

“Mortality, even if infrequent, could affect the conservation status of this schedule one species,” it added.

The work would have a “regionally significant” impact on the East Midlands’ bat population.

However, the Government believes there will also be significant benefits.

Leonie Dubois, HS2’s head of consultation and engagement, said: “HS2 is coming to the East Midlands and the region will reap significant benefits as a result.

“High speed rail will play a crucial role in rebalancing Britain’s economy; driving business growth, stimulating investment and creating jobs right across the country.

“Through the public consultations, we are providing a more detailed account of how we propose to build the railway and minimise its impacts during construction and operation.

“We actively encourage people to have their say on the plans we have published today.”

Councillor Jon Collins, leader of Nottingham City Council and chairman of the East Midlands HS2 Strategic Board, said:”The eastern leg of HS2 will link Birmingham with Leeds via the East Midlands, and provides a high speed link to Scotland via the East Coast Main Line. It has the best economic case of any part of the HS2 network – but we must ensure that the environmental impacts on our communities and businesses are properly dealt with.

“The public consultation launched by HS2 Ltd today (October 11) is an important stage in the development of the project, and we want to make sure that the concerns of local people are heard.”

Luci Ryan, ecologist at The Woodland Trust, said: “We were braced for bad news but this is far worse than we were expecting.  At least 19 ancient woods will be lost, almost double our estimate.

“The brutal destruction of at least 16.7 hectares of ancient woodland on phase 2b will be catastrophic for the environment. This is significant permanent loss and the figure is only going to go up as HS2’s review of woods not listed on the Ancient Woodland Inventory progresses.

“HS2 is continuing to ride roughshod over precious, irreplaceable centuries-old ancient woodland and in doing so the homes and populations of many wildlife species will be destroyed too.

“We are going to need some time to digest the full horror of the draft environmental statement but rest assured we will stand up and fight.”

The public consultation can be accessed online, and is open for 10 weeks.

To have your say, go to https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/hs2-phase-2b-working-draft-environmental-statement

 

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