Up to a decade of heavy traffic and dust pollution will be the result of the greenfield construction around Balsall Common of the multi billion pounds London-Birmingham High Speed Rail link HS2. Because of the planned viaduct instead of a tunnel, HS2 could make the village a less desirable place to live and may alter its character forever.
These are just some of the “highlights” outlined in the official draft impact report from the HS2 ltd published in May and the subsequent response by the Heart of England High Speed Rail Action group. A tunnel is not seen as viable despite the efforts of local campaigners and Conservative MP for Meriden Caroline Spelman, whose constituency office was once on Kenilworth Road.
The London to Birmingham route-section for HS2 could be ‘safeguarded’ by the end of this week, a significant step among many, given that such a move would prevent any other forms of development work which might interfere with the planned route. This would also trigger the the Statutory Blight process for affected domestic and commercial property owners along the route.
For more information about recent developments, including this week’s COmmon’s vote on the HS2 Preparation (Paving) Bill, see this report at the Knight Frank blog:
The next meeting of the SMBC HS2 Working Party takes place on Tuesday 25th June at the Civic Suite in Solihull on Tuesday 25th June 2013. Representations from members of the public affected by HS2 can only be made by those who have registered to speak beforehand.
Anyone wishing to register should email Roy Eaton: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Balsall Common Village Residents Association comes together for its’ regular monthly meeting this evening at 7:30pm in the room to the rear of the village hall on Station Road.
Items on the agenda for this evening’s meeting include local planning applications, reports on HS2, the Birmingham Airport runways extension, Parish Councils and discussion relating to proposed parking restrictions around Gipsy Lane and Gipsy Close. In recognition of the controversial nature of the proposals and objections from parts of the community there will be representation from the Solihull MBC Highways agency and Counillor Dicicco.
At a recent HS2 Community Forum in Balsall Common three potential tunnel options were revealed to community representatives. HS2 officials confirmed all the options were technically possible to construct but the final decision on implementation rests with the Secretary of State, meaning any or even none of the options could be selected.