Derby and Nottingham have to wake up to ‘new city’ threat.

Campaigners against HS2, then proposed high speed rail line have called on leaders and the general public in the East Midlands to wake up to the possibility that the location of a HS2 station between Nottingham and Derby will lead to them being joined up under Government plans for ‘garden cities’, due to be announced tomorrow (Tuesday 27th March 2012).

Speculation follows the assertion from HS2 Ltd Chief Engineer Professor Andrew McNaughton at a recent speech in Derby, that a new city could be built in the ‘Meriden Gap’ between Birmingham and Coventry, which commentators have said could include 100,000 homes and would create a 40-mile continuous conurbation from Coventry to Wolverhampton. This was followed up by David Cameron last week, who in his speech on infrastructure said he had plans for new ‘garden cities’. Given that any East Midlands HS2 station would be located between Nottingham & Derby, a similar outcome should be expected there.

Stop HS2 Campaign Coordinator Joe Rukin said;

“There have been lots of articles saying that Derby and Nottingham ‘need’ HS2, but the engineering reality is that the plan has never been to go near either of the city centres, but somewhere in between the two. As at a recent lecture at Nottingham Trent University, David Begg said that he had seen the HS2 plans and stated categorically that the station would not be located near East Midlands Airport (see http://stophs2.org/news/4451-begg-differ-evening-david-begg ), if there is to be a station between the two cities, it would seem that the most likely location for a station would be around Draycott, as it will have to be somewhere near an existing railway line to allow interchanging to the current network.”

“HS2 Ltd would not be deterred by the flood plain, as they haven’t been near Meriden where Andrew McNaughton has already said a new city is planned. It is far more likely that he is relishing the design of the viaducts which would have to be built, which those at HS2 Ltd see as a wonderful challenge to mark their legacy. Picturesque areas like those between Nottingham and Derby are exactly the sort of place where developers want to build as they net greater profit than redeveloping brownfield sites, and it is clear that this is the agenda of Government.”

“Now the agenda to build massive developments around  out of town stations is apparent HS2, those in Nottingham and Derby who have been lobbying for HS2 may want to think again, as they will see business parks retail parks and suburban shoeboxes competing with the established cities and sucking development away.”

 “Cameron has shown that he has one policy for this country, blowing billions of pounds not redeveloping areas where people live and jobs are needed, but ploughing up green belts everywhere because that’s what the construction companies want and now he has started talking about the ‘legacy’ he wants to leave behind. We have always suspected that HS2 is part of a ‘developers charter’ and in saying he wants these new cities, Cameron has shown he has clearly never actually been on a train, as every time I am on a train through a city I see industrial graveyards crying out for redevelopment. They already have transport links and populations willing to work, but they are simply not where developers want to build, as the green belt is a cheaper option with better profit.” 

Previous articles in order of publication:

    1. Rail News – http://www.railnews.co.uk/news/2012/03/16-hs2-engineer-sets-out-new.html
    2. Stop HS2 – http://stophs2.org/news/4891-campaigners-shocked-hs2-chief-engineer-reveals-new-city-secret-agenda
    3. Coventry Telegraph – http://www.coventrytelegraph.net/news/coventry-news/2012/03/20/fury-over-claims-hs2-will-create-new-city-between-coventry-and-birmingham-92746-30576250/
    4. Birmingham Post – http://www.birminghampost.net/birmingham-business/birmingham-business-news/other-uk-business/2012/03/23/hs2-could-see-birmingham-airport-renamed-as-london-birmingham-claims-chief-engineer-65233-30609176/
    5. Daily Telegraph – http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/hands-off-our-land/9165205/Countryside-planning-revolution-new-city-proposed-for-Midlands.html
    6. Daily Mail – http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2120035/New-city-Midlands-rail-link-green-belt-land-cope-population-growth.html?
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