£77k for last chance to save towns from HS2

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Councillors will spend up to £77,000 seizing their ‘last chance’ to save the district from HS2 devastation.

Warwick District Council’s executive agreed on Wednesday to petition the Government to get a better deal under plans for the high speed railway line.

As the petition needs support from at least 50 percent of all councillors and the vote will now go before full council but is not expected to meet any opposition from members.

Speaking on Wednesday, Cllr John Hammon (Con, Cubbington) said it was vital to do everything possible now.

“The impact on the area by HS2 and its work will be substantial,” he said,

“Everyone thinks that we are going to be devastated during construction and then when it is finishes. This is the last chance to mitigate on impact and pull together all the parish council and action group.

“It is about mitigation but we have got to continue to 
oppose as well.”

Anyone directly affected by the line can petition to change specific aspects of the scheme and reduce the impact on communities and the environment along the route.

As the Hybrid Bill is finalised, petitions could also secure amendments, mitigation and compensation measures.

Cllr David Shilton (Con, Parkhill) urged that it was vital the county is not brought to its knees because of HS2.

“Mitigation does not stop with houses being knocked down,” he said.

“The transport system will suffer and roads will be closed. There will be considerable traffic through our towns which will have a devastating impact on our shopping areas.”

Costs of petitioning were initially set around £70,000 but at Wednesday’s meeting it was found this may rise to around £77,000.

A statement from HS2 Ltd states that petitions must be presented in person on the parliamentary estate in Westminster. Valid petitions will be heard before the Select Committee and changes may be made accordingly.