Venue: Civic Suite
Contact: Joseph Bright
There were no apologies.
Declarations of Interest
To receive notification of any declaration of pecuniary and/or conflict of interest from Members.
There were no declarations of interest.
Questions and Deputations
To answer questions, if any, asked by any resident of the Borough pursuant to Standing Orders.
Requests to address the Advisory Group were submitted by Sheila Cooper, Berkswell resident, Councillor Courts, Vicky Woodall, Hampton-in-Arden Parish Council and Richard Lloyd, Heart of England High Speed Railway Action Group.
Sheila Cooper made a deputation, where she explained she was speaking as an individual and Berkswell resident. She highlighted the publication of maps and text following a EIR (Environmental Information Regulations) Tribunal Judgement against Solihull Council – she detailed how she believed there had been disappointing flaws in procedure and due process. She expressed concern that the presumption in favour of disclosure was not met – she also stated that, in her view, the reasons for applying the exemption was unsound. Sheila Cooper detailed how she believed the information was in the public interest.
Sheila Cooper explained that the three year old maps showed the proposed A46/A45 Phase 3 Link Road routes. She also detailed how a report on the Link Road presented to Full Cabinet in June 2017 indicated:
· High level discussions were taking place with HS2 Ltd.
· Officers were engaged to consider how Phase 3 might relate to options that HS2 Ltd were considering to manage construction haul movements in the Balsall Common area.
· HS2 Ltd were exploring alternative options to manage haul route movements with potential for a specific HS2 haul road.
· Officers would continue to engage with HS2 Ltd with a view to securing the provision of a segregated haul road; and
· Subject to the outcome of their options assessment, the work with HS2 Ltd could also influence potential alignment options for Phase 3 of the A46/A45 Link.
Sheila Cooper detailed how, from the points raised in the report, it was clear that maximum benefit for Solihull and the wider region was as important as the benefits for affected communities. She also noted it was agreed for updates to be provided to Cabinet.
Sheila Cooper explained that one of the recently published proposed Link Road routes had been adopted by High Speed Rail as their preferred haul route through the area.
Sheila Cooper queried the following:
· Why didn’t the Council provide the information requested, under the EIR presumption in favour of disclosure? Also, why was the Council continuing not to provide further information, which she believed was in the public interest?
· Why did Council Officers advise 2 months ago they were maintaining a watching brief on the Link Road?
· To what degree had the Council been involved in discussions with HS2 Ltd to use the proposed Link Road Route down Hall Meadow Road and beyond as a haul route?
· Had the Cabinet and the Advisory Group been kept updated?
Sheila Cooper explained that, in her opinion, the proposed use of Hall Meadow Road and beyond as a haul route, or as a future by-pass, was unacceptable for many reasons, including the health, safety and well-being of residents.
Sheila Cooper detailed how she believed HS2 Ltd had promised the community a trace line Continuous Haul Route. She expressed concern at the route identified in the recently ... view the full minutes text for item 51.
To receive the minutes of the previous meeting.
The Advisory Group received the minutes of the meeting held on 19th July 2018.
That the minutes of the meeting held on 19th July 2018 be confirmed as a correct record.
Proposed HS2 Interchange Images
Advisory Group to receive a presentation from HS2 Ltd on the proposed Interchange Images.
The Senior Engagement Manager confirmed the proposed HS2 Interchange Images were not yet available for the Advisory Group to consider. He detailed how a number of station design engagement events were scheduled over the next month in the local area. It was noted how the proposed Interchange images would be provided at these events.
To provide an update on the High Speed Rail 2 (HS2) project from the Council’s Highway Services Division.
The Group Leader for Sustainable Travel and Highway Management provided an update on the HS2 project, from the Council’s Highway Services Division. He detailed how the HS2 team were currently focusing their efforts, in Solihull, on upgrading the following parts of the highway network:
· Solihull Interchange Station Road network
· A452 Kenilworth Road/Park Lane junction
· A45 Coventry Road between Stonebridge and M42 Junction 6
The Group Leader explained that, to support the design process, HS2 contractors were currently carrying out a wide range of Ground Investigation work and traffic surveys. It was noted the majority of this work had been completed overnight or under short duration temporary road closures, to minimise the impact upon the highway network.
The Group Leader detailed how the above 3 work packages would then be progressed to ‘Detailed Design’ where a construction programme would be prepared. It was noted how HS2 Ltd would lead on stakeholder engagement for this.
The Advisory Group was also informed how HS2 Ltd were required to submit their highways designs for approval by the Council. It was noted that all temporary and minor interference applications would be subject to approval by the Head of Highway Services, whilst all major schemes would be considered at the public meetings of the Cabinet Member for Transport and Highways.
The Group Leader provided an update on the HS2 Road Safety Fund, detailing how Officers were currently collecting data, to determine sections of the highway network most likely to be impacted by the HS2 project. He detailed how they were looking to provide an update on this project at the Advisory Group meeting in March.
Dame Spelman highlighted how the development of a relief road at junction 6 was impacting upon the Gaelic sports club. She expressed concern that a viable alternative site had not yet been agreed and detailed how she had raised the matter with the Secretary of State. The Group Leader confirmed this was a Highways England promoted scheme and explained he would raise these points with the relevant Officers there.
Richard Lloyd highlighted the roundabout to be created near Park Lane, to facilitate the development of HS2. He expressed concern that, if this roundabout was kept following the development of HS2, it would result in the road becoming a ‘rat-run.’ The Group Leader detailed how they were currently working with the Parish Council to identify potential traffic calming measures.
The HS2 Implementation Advisory Group:
(i) Noted the update on the individual elements of the HS2 project.
(ii) Agreed to receive a further update at the next meeting of the HS2 Implementation Advisory Group in December 2018.
Programme Update from HS2 Ltd
Advisory Group to receive an update from the Senior Engagement Manager, HS2 Ltd.
The Senior Engagement Manager provided a programme update on behalf of HS2 Ltd, where the points raised including the following:
· Enabling works – the Advisory Group was advised of a range of work planned over the next 6 months, which included archaeological surveys, area wide vegetation clearance, as well as compound constructions at Quartz Point Business Park and Balsall Common.
· Interchange Triangle – the Senior Engagement Manager highlighted the construction and highway upgrade works planned in the interchange triangle, currently anticipated from Spring 2019 to early-mid 2021. It was noted the Design and Construction Officers could attend a future meeting to provide an update upon the details of the programme.
· Ground investigation – work was being undertaken around Balsall Common and to the south towards Burton Green. The Advisory Group was also advised of the ground penetration radar surveys planned to be undertaken.
· Balsall Common Haul Routes – the Senior Engagement Manager advised that feasibility, vehicle volumes and requirements were still being worked on. It was noted updated positions were anticipated from the Design and Construction teams by end of October.
· Design engagement events – Members were advised that engagement development meetings were planned in the Parishes of Berkswell, Hampton-in-Arden and Balsall Common over the next month.
· Interchange Station Design engagement – the Senior Engagement Manager detailed how a 4 week engagement period was planned, based around the design vision for the Interchange Station. It was noted that events were planned at a number of locations across the local area.
· National Grid works update – the Advisory Group were advised of the overhead line works planned to the south of Hams Hall, near Coleshill. The Senior Engagement Manager flagged up that the works may require temporary closures to footpaths and roads; however he emphasised how they would look to keep local residents and stakeholders informed.
Members requested an update on public space in Chelmsley Wood – it was noted that, one year ago, HS2 Ltd had expressed a commitment towards working with Solihull Council to identify mitigation measures for the loss of land at Heath Park. Members queried what potential options were being explored. Dame Spelman expressed concern there was a negative perception amongst local residents in Chelmsley Wood towards the development of HS2, due to the loss of this green space. She emphasised the importance of effective mitigation measures being identified, to demonstrate the concerns of the public were being considered.
The Senior Engagement Manager explained that a meeting with Council Officers, to consider potential mitigation options for Heath Park, was scheduled in November. He confirmed he would look for an update to be provided at the next Advisory Group meeting in December.
The Senior Engagement Manager also highlighted how funding from the HS2 Community and Environment Fund (CEF) had been granted for two projects in Solihull:
· Kingshurst Children’s Sports Project – this project would install a multi-use games area at St Anthony’s Catholic Primary School in Kingshurst, Solihull.
· Community Roots – this project was being delivered ... view the full minutes text for item 55.