HS2 in Birmingham

Park Hall Nature Reserve - HS2 will run across this area

High Speed 2 (HS2) is a planned high speed railway between London, the Midlands, the North West of England, Yorkshire, possibly North East England and Scotland. The route has been controversial from when it was first announced in 2009 due to the impact it will have on the places it passes through. Locally, HS2 will have a particularly significant impact on Park Hall nature reserve: with the loss of large amounts of ancient woodland; over 600 metres of viaduct cutting the reserve in two; the re-alignment some 1,600m of the River Tame and impacts on the flood plain there which helps contain a huge amount of water; the destruction of valuable grassland habitat and the loss of access to the reserve.

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.

Our response to the Environmental Statement by HS2 Ltd is highly critical of the work done so far and calls for them to do more to identify less damaging options for the construction and operation of HS2 in Birmingham.

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 3:1 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 

If they are to destroy precious habitats, we need to know what is being destroyed, why and how they are going to mitigate this loss. So far we are a long way from knowing how they can possibly avoid damaging biodiversity, as they are only focussed on the very narrow corridor of the proposed HS2 route and have not looked at the larger picture.” - Nick Hammond, Chief Executive of The Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and the Black Country.

Downloads

FilenameFile size
The Wildlife Trust's position on HS277.86 KB
The Right Lines Charter186.75 KB
Response to final HS2 Environmental Statement.pdf1.11 MB