Venue: Civic Suite
Councillor D Bell (Councillor K Allsopp – substitute).
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 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 detailed how she had written to Dame Caroline Spelman in relation to the original proposal to provide a National Cycling Legacy Route along the length of the proposed HS2 railway alignment, after hearing reports that the project would no longer be happening.
Shelia Cooper highlighted how the Government commitment to make cycling a realistic travel choice was announced by David Cameron in August 2013. She detailed how the previous Prime Minister had committed to a feasibility study to explore the potential benefits of developing enhanced local cycle networks within the corridor of the proposed HS2 rail alignment, as well as how a national cycleway could be created broadly following the route of the HS2 railway line.
Sheila Cooper explained how the study for a National Cycleway was commissioned by the Department for Transport (DfT) in January 2014, entitled National Cycleway associated with HS2.
Sheila Cooper detailed how the report published in October 2018 recommended that the DfT should generally be responsible for all capital funding. She stated that the reply from the Secretary of State confirmed that neither the DfT nor HS2 had any current plans to fund the National Cycleway as outlined in the study. Shelia Cooper explained that the Secretary of State had stated there was no central funding available to undertake the schemes and it was suggested for Local Authorities to explore funding from other sources, including HS2 Ltd. She emphasised the budget pressures Local Authorities faced and expressed concern this wouldn’t happen.
Sheila Cooper expressed her disappointment that the National Cycleway project was no longer an intended part of the enhancement mitigation to be provided for those negatively affected by High Speed Rail. She also stated how she believed it was ironic that the Government was not funding a project which would provide health benefits for affected communities way into the future, whilst it continued to have long term ambitions for cycling and walking. Sheila Cooper also expressed her concern that other enhancement mitigation projects could be lost, due to cost-cutting exercises, as well as to prevent project delay.
Sheila Cooper queried how much the DfT had spent on the feasibility study. She also detailed how she believed it had been reported that High Speed Rail had already cost £5.5 billion, 10% of its projected budget. Sheila Cooper also flagged up how it had been reported that Crossrail required a further £1.7 billion bailout, whilst it was significantly over time and over budget.
Sheila Cooper explained how she had revisited the minutes of the Advisory Group meetings since mid 2016 – she emphasised her disappointment that she had repeated many questions, which she believed hadn’t been answered and were still relevant today.
Sheila Cooper requested again for a Continuous Haul Route to ... view the full minutes text for item 58.
To receive the minutes of the previous meeting.
A question and answer document regarding Kenilworth Greenway is included for information, as it responds to queries raised at the previous meeting regarding Bailey Brook.
The Advisory Group received the minutes of the meeting held on 4th October 2018.
That the minutes of the meeting held on 4th October 2018 be confirmed as a correct record.
To receive a verbal update on the High Speed Rail 2 (HS2) project from the Council’s Highway Services Division.
Current version of the Highway applications tracker sheet attached.
The Group Leader for Sustainable Travel and Highway Management explained how the list of applications in regards to planning and highway matters, relating to HS2, were now provided on the Council’s website and he showed Members how to access this. He also detailed how hyperlinks where provided on these tracker lists, which enabled people to view further details regarding the individual applications.
The Group Leader also confirmed how no major planning or highway applications had been submitted at that stage – it was noted only temporary and minor applications had been received so far, where it had been agreed for such applications to considered by the relevant Officer.
Advisory Group to receive an update from the Senior Engagement Manager, HS2 Ltd.
Current version of the key issues tracker attached.
The Senior Engagement Manager, HS2 Ltd, and the Community Engagement Manager, Balfour Beatty Vinci (BBV), provided an update, where the points raised included the following:
Programme update – the Community Engagement Manager (BBV) provided an update, with a high level programme of works. It was noted they were currently at the design stage, with some construction works anticipated to start in 2019.
Interchange Station – the Senior Engagement Manager (HS2 Ltd) provided Members a range of images considered as part of the Interchange Station design engagement events. He detailed how over 1000 people attended a range of local exhibitions, where architectural engineers were also present, to provide information and respond to queries.
The Senior Engagement Manager (HS2 Ltd) detailed how they sought peoples’ views on a range of matters, including station design and station plaza, user experience, facilities and features, integration with landscape and accessibility.
The Senior Engagement Manager (HS2 Ltd) also explained how they sought people’s views on their priorities for creating a gateway station for the region, including via the Commonplace website. He detailed how this indicated that people placed the greatest emphasis upon the provision of retail and food outlets, outdoor spaces for live performances, music, dance and theatre, as well as information on events and attractions in the region.
Berkswell – Haul and Delivery routes – the Community Engagement Manager (BBV) explained the distinction between these routes, detailing how a haul route was a vehicle route which would generally run alongside the trace of the HS2 railway, which would be used by construction traffic to move from a construction access point to a remote facility or worksite. It was noted that, during the development of the haul route, it was necessary to use the highway for the delivery route.
The Community Engagement Manager (BBV) informed Members of the work being undertaken to develop potential haulage and delivery routes. He detailed how they were looking at creating a continuous haul route by undertaking the following:
· Establishing a compound at Park Lane.
· Developing a haul route from Park Lane Compound to Carol Green/Truggist Lane
· Developing a haul route between Berkswell Station and Wastes Lane
· Establishing a permanent crossing of the West Coast Mainline by late-2021.
The Community Engagement Manager (BBV) explained that, whilst the above continuous haul route was being developed, it would be necessary to use a delivery route along the highway. He detailed that one potential haul route being considered was Hall Meadow Road. It was noted this would allow a link from the roundabout to run behind the garage, British Legion and Annora House, as well as additional car parking and pedestrian access to the station. The Community Engagement Manager (BBV) emphasised the use of Hall Meadow Road was subject to land constraints, as well as the planning application process.
Berkswell Parish Council Haul Route suggestion – the Community Engagement Manager (BBV) detailed how he recognised that a suggested haul route had been mentioned at previous meeting. He emphasised a formal submission had never ... view the full minutes text for item 61.