News - 21 May 2013

Consultation begins on draft HS2 environmental statement

Consultation has started after a draft environmental statement setting out the likely impacts of the first phase of the High Speed Two (HS2) rail project was published by the Department for Transport.

The DfT also wants public opinion on major changes to the design of the first phase of the scheme, which will link London and Birmingham.

According to the DfT, the draft environmental statement, “sets out a factual assessment of the environmental effects and proposed mitigation” for phase one, including plans to minimise its visual and noise impact.

The final version of the statement, prepared by HS2 Ltd, the company set up by the DfT to drive the project, will form part of the hybrid bill for phase one. It would effectively grant planning consent for the project and is due to be published later this year.

Another document, setting out the changes the Government has outlined for parts of the scheme following representations since the plans were first made public in January 2012, has also been made public.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “You cannot build a new railway line without causing some disruption. What we can and will do is ensure that disruption is kept to a minimum by using the very latest design and construction methods.”

“We are confident that through continued hard work we can ensure that many of the feared effects of HS2 never materialise”.

The DfT hopes that the hybrid bill will gain royal assent by 2015 with construction on phase one beginning in 2016 or 2017.

The consultation on both documents closes on 11 July.

Click here to view the Draft Environmental Statement or to view the Design Refinement Consultation document, click here

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