Park Hall Nature Reserve - HS2 will run across this area
On January 10 2012 the Government announce the go-ahead for the development of HS2 - a high speed rail link between London and Birmingham. The route has a particularly significant impact on Park Hall nature reserve: a large cutting through ancient woodland; over 600 metres of viaduct cutting the reserve in two; the re-alignment some 1,600m of the River Tame and the loss of access to the reserve. The route also has major implications for the proposed Eastside Park, potentially depriving the people of Birmingham of a much-needed landmark greenspace near the City Centre.
The Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and the Black Country is concerned that decisions on the proposals have not taken all the environmental issues into account and given them proper weight against economic and other matters when assessing the overall viability of the scheme and planning details of the route. Steps must be taken to mitigate and compensate for environmental damage and losses at Park Hall and all along the route.
Wildlife Trust Chief Executive, Neil Wyatt said: "Now that there is certainty about the future of HS2, there is huge uncertainty about the future of the magnificent Park Hall nature reserve. High Speed Rail need to accept the impacts the proposal will have on wildlife here, and elsewhere along the route and start start thinking about what they will do about them."
In line with the National Planning Policy Framework, HS2 should be aiming for a net gain for biodiversity from the construction of HS2.
- As presented the Environmental Statement (ES) is unacceptable and further work needs to be undertaken to identify less damaging options for the construction and operation of HS2. More analysis and information is required.
- The construction and provision of HS2 across Park Hall nature reserve will result in severe adverse impact to areas owned/managed by The Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and the Black Country.
- The full scale of impacts needs to be identified, for example, the impact on historic woodland at Park Hall nature reserve, currently not identified in the ES. The construction impacts need to be more clearly identified.
- Mitigation options should include the use of a box-cutting with vertical sides and a cut and cover tunnel or green bridge through the wood to further reduce likely impacts.
- Environmental impact mitigation and compensation must be carried out to the highest standards. Compensation should be on at least a 2:1 basis and should be on sites identified within the Birmingham and Black Country Nature Improvement Area and more specifically to improve the ecological links from the countryside into the city centre along the corridor of the HS2, and within the Nature Improvement Area in respect of the HS2 and related corridors.
- Financial compensation will be required for the loss of part of Park Hall nature reserve, the access to the reserve and for the 48 months (or greater period) that the site will not be available through the construction period.
You can download the Trust's detailed response the the HS2 draft environmental statement here
"High Speed Rail need to accept the impacts the proposal will have on wildlife ... along the route and start start thinking about what they will do about them." - Neil Wyatt, Chief Executive
|The Wildlife Trust's position on HS2||77.86 KB|
|The Wildlife Trust's response to government on the consultation||120.42 KB|
|The Right Lines Charter||186.75 KB|
|Response to HS2 Draft Environmental Statement||440.76 KB|