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HS2 News from Birmingham

We’ve brought up the issue of Washwood Heath several times over the last year or so – see
Jobs tomorrow – but not today and “Yes HS2″ supporters – but not here please.

Just recently Washwood Heath has come up again, with the Birmingham Labour party’s manifesto:

Birmingham Post: Birmingham Labour Party to ditch plan for HS2 depot at Washwood Heath in favour of job creation

“Sir Albert said: “We could take forward the development of the site as early as spring next year, assuming planning permission and deliver 6,000 jobs over the next few years.”

“He said that they have spoken with the landowners and HS2 company about the options and are optimistic another depot site could be found.

“The manifesto, drawn up by senior councillors and Labour MPs Jack Dromey and Liam Byrne in consultation with businesses, has put job creation at its centre – even though the council is facing the largest local government cuts in history.”

This follows an earlier Birmingham Post article:

Washwood Heath sites could be blighted for 20 years if set aside for HS2 depot, claims councillor

Key industrial sites on the eastern edge of Birmingham city centre could be blighted for two decades if set aside for the second phase of high speed rail (HS2).

A few weeks ago, we reported about the campaign to save Island House, a Birmingham landmark whose owners wanted to demolish it because it was too close to the proposed HS2 Curzon street station.  Unfortnately that campaign was unsuccessful: see yesterday’s demonstration outside Island House on the Digbeth is Good website.

There are now concerns about three historic Birmingham pubs which are at risk. Heritage groups, including the Society for Protection of Ancient Buildings, and the Warwickshire Gardens Trust are very concerned. For more details of the situation at the moment see Worries that three historic Birmingham pubs could make way for HS2 Curzon Street development and Call to save Birmingham pubs from being flattened by HS2 station.

All these items remind us that there were plans for Eastside’s regeneration even before HS2 was announced.  For instance, Birmingham City University had spent £30 million on plans which had to be scrapped to make way for the Curzon Street station.

One last news report: Curzon St may not be name for new HS2 station

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