NT concerns about Phase 2b route changes

The National Trust write about their serious concerns following the HS2 route changes in South Yorkshire:

These recommendations would result in significant movement of the HS2 line to bring it within 350 metres of the parkland at Nostell, near Wakefield, and changes to the route both south and north of Hardwick, Derbyshire.

We are seriously concerned about the new position of the railway at Nostell as for much of its route there the line is elevated on either embankment or viaduct. This, along with the New Crofton Rolling Stock Depot, will introduce alien features into the landscape bringing noise and negative visual impacts for visitors to Nostell and the local community from lighting, railway infrastructure and passing trains as well as increases to local traffic.

We are also worried about the potential risk of water pollution, whilst the house’s important collection, which includes numerous significant paintings, extensive pieces of Chippendale furniture and the largest collection of silver in the care of the National Trust, is sensitive to any increases in dust.

They go onto say

The alignment of the railway also has been brought closer to Bolsover Castle which we believe further worsens the impacts in this internationally significant landscape. We expect HS2 Ltd to respond to the seriousness of this situation with diligence and detail. We are, however, pleased that the changes appear to reduce impacts on the much loved Chesterfield Canal.

The impacts of these new proposals required further assessment and we will now take steps to fully understand how concerning these changes are for us. HS2 Ltd now need to rapidly and thoroughly assess, and then fully mitigate the impacts of the route. With our specialist team, we will challenge HS2 Ltd to do this sensitively and completely, and reserve our right to oppose the alignment of the route should we judge the mitigation proposed to be insufficient.

They are not the only organisation looking at the problems caused by the changed route, with the Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust also expressing concerns.

But then again, the document issued by HS2 Ltd with the alternative route says that there would be “greater heritage and landscape impacts” with the new route than the consultation route.

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