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Birmingham City Council

HS2 Consultations

Hybrid Bill and Environmental Statement

The Government has prepared a Hybrid Bill for Phase One of High Speed Two (HS2, London to West Midlands). The Bill was published on Monday 25 November 2013 together with the formal Environmental Statement for Phase One.

The Bill includes the powers necessary to construct and operate Phase One of HS2 (Birmingham to London). The Bill will be considered by Parliament, and looks at both the principle of the scheme and its detailed impacts on individuals and organisations. The Hybrid Bill documentation includes:

  • The Bill itself, incorporating schedules which detail the works which will take place and the land that will be acquired or used;
  • Plans and sections, including the geographic extent of works/land required;
  • The Book of Reference, which describes ownerships of all affected land;
  • Various supporting documents, such as a Housing Statement, Estimate of Expense, Equalities Impact Assessment and Health Impact Assessment; and
  • The formal Environmental Statement (ES) for consultation, which explains in detail the impacts of the scheme on local areas and the steps taken to mitigate adverse impacts – this builds on consultations on previous stages of the ES, to which the city council responded. This latest formal ES will be subject to public consultation by Parliament.

The City Council responded to the consultation on the formal Environmental Statement:

Notwithstanding the our overall support for High Speed 2, the City Council will need to ensure that any necessary provisions are included in the Hybrid Bill and/or seeking assurances/undertakings from the promoters to maximise benefits and minimise negative impacts of HS2 on the City. Officers will continue to work closely with HS2 Ltd and representatives from the Department of Transport (DfT) to ensure that necessary provisions are provided and will seek to negotiate agreements accordingly; however as agreements have not yet been reached on specific matters it has been necessary for us to petition the Hybrid Bill in the meantime which to formally asks for the Bill to be amended to reflect the full benefits and the measures needed to achieve them.

On 16 May 2014, Birmingham City Council, Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council, Birmingham Airport, the National Exhibition Centre, Centro and other key public and private sector organisations have formally submitted petitions to the HS2 Bill to ensure the benefits of this transformational project are maximised. Our submitted petition document is below:

More information about the Hybrid Bill can be found at http://www.parliament.uk/business/bills-and-legislation/current-bills/previous-bills/hybrid-bills/

For information on the formal Environmental Statement please visit www.hs2.org.uk.

Current Consultations

HS2 Ltd do not currently have any open consultations. However the City Council is consulting on the Birmingham Curzon HS2 Masterplan which presents the proposed HS2 railway as a once in a century opportunity to radically enhance the city’s national rail connectivity and accelerate its economic growth potential. The new line and terminus will provide a catalyst to transform areas of the city centre and unlock major regeneration sites. This consultation closes on 24 April 2014.

Responding to Consultations

The City Council is a Statutory consultee and as such we respond formally to all HS2 consultations. So far we have responded to:

Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) – Scoping & Methodology

On 4 April 2012 HS2 Ltd published the ‘HS2 London to West Midlands EIA Scope and Methodology Report’. The report was subject to public consultation.

A detailed appraisal of the technical elements of the proposed EIA scope and methodology was carried out and the City Council submitted a response to HS2 Ltd on 31 May 2012.

HS2 consultations on Safeguarding and Property Compensation

On 25 October 2012 Patrick McLoughlin, the Secretary of State for Transport, announced the launch of two consultations related to the HS2 route between London and the West Midlands; one on Property Compensation and another on Safeguarding. These consultations closed on 31 January 2013.

The Property Compensation Consultation set out the Government’s proposed package of measures for owners and occupiers of property along the HS2 route between London and the West Midlands. The Government considers its proposals to include:

  • a streamlined system of advanced and voluntary purchase to simplify the process for property owners in the safeguarded area and provide greater certainty for those property owners outside the safeguarded area in rural areas;
  • a sale and rent back scheme, to allow homeowners whose property will need to be demolished to sell their homes but remain living in them as tenants until the properties are required for the railway;
  • a hardship scheme, to help those with a need to move during the development of HS2 but who are unable to sell their home despite being outside both the safeguarded area and the voluntary purchase zone;
  • a series of measures designed to provide confidence for those in properties above tunnels (before and after surveys, settlement deeds and subsoil rights); and
  • a framework for working with local authorities, housing associations and tenants affected by HS2, to agree a joint strategy to replace any social rented housing which is lost.

Safeguarding directions are intended to protect the line of route from conflicting developments and are an established practice for large infrastructure projects. The Safeguarding Consultation is aimed primarily at local planning authorities along the line of route, who will be aware of relevant planning issues in their areas and to whom the directions would apply.

The City Council submitted responses to both consultations which were approved by the Cabinet in January 2013 after extensive internal consultation and with input from Councillors. Copies of the consultation responses are available from Democracy in Birmingham (please use the meeting search function, change “meeting body type” to “Executive (Current)”, change “meeting body” to “Cabinet” and enter 14/01/2013 into both date fields).

Phase 2 Exceptional Hardship Scheme Consultation

Alongside the Phase Two announcement on 28 January 2013, the Government consulted on the Exceptional Hardship Scheme for Leeds, Manchester and the proposed Heathrow spur. The scheme aims to assist eligible residential and small business owner-occupiers whose property value may be affected by the initial preferred route options for Phase Two of the network. These proposals do not affect Birmingham.

Environmental Statement (ES) – 16th May 2013 to 11th July 2013

From May to July 2013 HS2 Ltd consulted on a draft HS2 Environmental Statement for Phase One (London to West Midlands).

The Environmental Statement describes in detail the environmental, social and economic impacts associated with the proposed HS2 scheme. It sets out the measures to avoid, reduce or remedy any significant adverse effects generated by the scheme.

This also included consultation on the Code of Construction Practice which explains how HS2 Ltd will minimise the construction impacts of the scheme, developing the line in a way that builds on the best practice established by recent large infrastructure projects.

Design Refinement Consultation – 16th May 2013 to 11th July 2013

The Design Refinement Consultation covered proposed major design changes to help the Government decide if they should be included in the final scheme or not. There were two relevant changes for Birmingham and these are: at Bromford, to replace the proposed surface section of the route running beneath the M6 Bromford Viaduct with a bored tunnel; and at Washwood Heath, to change the way trains access the depot from the west to improve operational flexibility.

Phase Two Proposed Route

HS2 Ltd consulted on the proposed route for Phase 2 from Birmingham to Manchester and Leeds, between 17 July 2013 and 31 January 2014. These proposals do not directly affect Birmingham, but the City Council did submit a response to the consultation because there are potential wider implications in terms of our connectivity to northern cities, which is just as important as connections to London:

For more information please visit www.hs2.org.uk/phase-two.

Property and Compensation Consultation

The Government has given an undertaking to the High Court to consult again on discretionary property compensation measures for Phase One of HS2, between London and the West Midlands, with the aim of providing more options and more information to all concerned. This consultation was launched on 12th September 2013 and closed on 4th December 2013. The council responded to this consultation:

For more information please visit www.gov.uk/government/consultations/hs2-property-compensation-consultation-2013.