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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:

On 28 April 2014 the High Speed Rail (London-West Midlands) Bill was granted Second Reading by the House of Commons. This means that HS2 Phase One (London to Birmingham) can go ahead in principle, subject to agreement of the details between the House of Commons and the House of Lords.

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 were not reached in time on specific matters it has been necessary for us to petition the Hybrid Bill in the meantime to formally ask 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.

Following negotiations with HS2 Ltd, the City Council (by the Leader and Deputy Chief Executive), together with Centro, has reached agreement where the Secretary of State (SoS) for Transport has provided assurances on a number of Birmingham-centric issues – including Curzon Street station, Washwood Heath Depot and others. The City Council will work with HS2 Ltd to ensure that these agreements are taken forward.

Whilst discussion continues on issues around Birmingham Interchange Station, and elsewhere, the City Council will work to support other petitioners leading on these issues as appropriate; from September 2014 onwards the remainder of those affected by HS2 are anticipated to present their concerns to the Hybrid Bill’s Select Committee, to seek agreements to address those concerns and maximise the benefits of HS2.

Summary of Birmingham City Council HS2 Petitioning Position

A summary of what has been agreed between the City Council, Centro and the Government, in relation to the HS2 route in Birmingham, is below:

Birmingham Curzon Street Station

  • Construction to be completed as quickly as is reasonably practicable;
  • The Nominated Undertaker (i.e. HS2 Ltd or who would be working on its behalf) to agree with the City Council and Centro a design for the station;
  • The Nominated Undertaker and the City Council to work on a package of skills and training measures;
  • The Nominated Undertaker to consult the City Council and Centro on when the various parts of HS2 would be constructed; and
  • The Nominated Undertaker to work with local organisations to progress regeneration.

Saltley Viaduct

  • The Nominated Undertaker to work with the City Council and Centro to minimise problems caused by the temporary closure of Saltley Viaduct.

City Council Waste Facility

This refers to the household recycling centre, and attached Bottom Ash Plant (which recycles ash from Tyseley Incinerator), both on Tameside Drive in Castle Bromwich, which would both be affected by the HS2 route construction – it is anticipated that the former can continue to operate where it is, whereas the latter would need to be relocated. Therefore:

  • The Nominated Undertaker is to work jointly with the City Council, and the Operator of the Plant, to ensure that the Plant is relocated with no interruption to services provided at either facility;
  • The City Council and/or the Operator are to obtain consents for the alternative site for the Plant; and
  • The Nominated Undertaker is to compensate the City Council/Operator for the Plant’s reinstatement.

Washwood Heath

The Nominated Undertaker is to work with the City Council to:

  • Minimise land required for the railway and the Depot, including a review of flood protection options;
  • Ensure that land not required for the railway or the Depot to be made available to the market as soon as reasonably practicable;
  • Ensure construction of the depot is completed as soon as reasonably practicable; and
  • Implement a training and skills package to bring forward opportunities for employment and training.


  • The Nominated Undertaker to undertake works on New Canal Street as part of the new station to accommodate the proposed Metro Birmingham Eastside Extension; and
  • The Nominated Undertaker to work with Centro and others to develop HS2 and Metro designs and construction strategy, with regard to the Birmingham HS2 Curzon Masterplan.

Business Relocation

  • The Nominated Undertaker is to work with the City Council to ensure that businesses subject to relocation are provided the opportunity to relocate within the City.

Open Spaces

  • The Nominated Undertaker is to work with the City Council to identify alternatives for sites affected, including replacements, improvements to remaining sites, or improvements to other sites.

Training & Skills

  • The Nominated Undertaker is to work with the City Council on a package of skills and training measures to connect local people to local jobs in HS2 construction.

Other Matters

Discussions, inside and outside of the HS2 Parliamentary process, continue with HS2 Ltd and other partners on matters relating to the following:

  • Birmingham Interchange Station area;
  • Exercising of the City Council’s statutory functions;
  • Transport connectivity;
  • Additional construction impacts – e.g. Museums Collection Centre;
  • Community Fund (for local environmental improvements);
  • Compulsory acquisition of land;
  • Design of viaducts and other major structures;
  • Environmental impacts and minimum requirements;
  • Maintenance of highways, and routes for construction traffic;
  • Local Authority costs; and
  • Minerals rights.

The full text of the agreed Assurances can be viewed below:

Current Consultations

HS2 Ltd do not currently have any open consultations. As above, the emphasis is currently on discussions with those affected by HS2.

The City Council undertook public consultation on the Birmingham Curzon HS2 Draft Masterplan between 27th February and 24th April 2014. More information can be found at: www.birmingham.gov.uk/birminghamcurzonhs2.

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).

Please note that in June 2014, HS2 Ltd updated safeguarding and compensation arrangements - for more information please visit http://www.hs2.org.uk/developing-hs2/safeguarding/are-you-a-property-owner.

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.

Draft 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.

On 8 July 2014, the Government announced its latest consultation on compensation arrangements for property owners affected by HS2, which is open until 30th September 2014. For more information please visit https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/hs2-property-consultation-2014.

Formal Environmental Statement (ES) – 25 November 2013 to 27 February 2014

From November 2013 to February 2014 HS2 Ltd consulted on a Formal HS2 Environmental Statement for Phase One (London to West Midlands). The City Council responded to this consultation.

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. The Formal Environmental Statement described the proposed HS2 scheme in more detail than the Draft Environmental Statement and forms the basis of the HS2 Hybrid Bill deposited in Parliament.