FEATURE: Burton Green - the village that will be split in two by HS2 line

Burton Green will effectively be cut in half by HS2, and its village hall is among the buildings to be demolished. From left: Cllr Archie Taylor, chair of Burton Green Residents' Association Rona Taylor, and Cllr David Skinner.
Burton Green will effectively be cut in half by HS2, and its village hall is among the buildings to be demolished. From left: Cllr Archie Taylor, chair of Burton Green Residents' Association Rona Taylor, and Cllr David Skinner.

Out of all the places to be impacted by HS2, Burton Green to the north of Kenilworth has a good claim for being one of the worst-affected villages by the line along its proposed route.

The village will effectively be cut in two by the high-speed line, and its impact has already been felt before construction has even begun with former residents getting out while they can.

But despite many people leaving in anticipation of the noise and disruption caused by the line’s construction, Burton Green parish councillor Archie

Taylor said the village’s community spirit was still there.

He said: “HS2’s made the community stronger than ever because people came together. These things make communities stronger.

“We are a community, but we’re having a hard time of it at the moment. For people like me (a parish councillor), it’s not been pleasant.”

Burton Green will be bisected by HS2, and a ‘cut-and-cover’ green tunnel is set to be built through the village to try and minimise the visual impact and noise. It will also pass right through the village hall.

Although owners of houses within 300 metres of the line are within the ‘Homeowner Payment Zone’ and will be compensated by HS2, those homes just outside the zone will receive nothing and will still be affected.

People in the village were not informed in advance about the proposed route when it was first announced in December 2010.

Cllr Taylor said: “The news came when a TV company came to one of our residents and said: ‘Do you know HS2 is going through your house?’

“So there’s a number of residents who have left, and there’s still one or two who are likely to move.

“We’ve lost some very important members of our community.”

Although HS2 has already had an enormous effect on the village, Cllr Taylor said it was not the only large construction project to impact Burton Green.

Planned housing developments near the village and a new major road will also heavily disrupt the village and its residents.

As part of Warwick district’s Local Plan, which was adopted last year, 425 homes are earmarked for land off Westwood Heath Road.

And 240 homes are set be built on land off Cromwell Lane near Tile Hill railway station as part of Coventry City Council’s own Local

Plan.

These developments, HS2, and the threat of part of the ‘A46 link road’ potentially passing through the village present a triple-threat to Burton Green.

And once HS2 is eventually built, Cllr Taylor believes the boundary between Warwick district and Coventry will be redrawn using the HS2 line as the border.

Cllr Taylor added: “People are more worried whether the link road from the A46 will go straight through Burton Green.

“What people don’t realise is because of our proximity to the University of Warwick and Coventry, we’re seen as a development area.

“We always thought we were green fields and open spaces, but the planned housing has been a real blot.”