Appointment of Chairman
Nominations were sought for the election of Chairman for 2019/2020.
The Advisory Group was invited to elect a Chairman for the new Municipal Year.
Councillor Dicicco was elected Chairman for the 2019/20 municipal year.
Appointment of Vice-Chairman
Nominations were sought for the appointment of Vice-Chairman for 2019/2020.
The Advisory Group was invited to elect a Vice-Chairman for the new Municipal Year.
Councillor Rolf was elected Vice-Chairman for the 2019/20 municipal year.
Declarations of Interest
To receive notification of any declaration of pecuniary and/or conflict of interest from Members.
Councillor Adeyemo made a declaration of interest, on the basis he worked for a company on the panel of insurers in regards to the construction of HS2.
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, Richard Lloyd, Heart of England and High Speed Railway Action Group and Ken Blanch, Hampton-in-Arden Parish Council.
Sheila Cooper made a deputation, where the points and views she raised included the following:
· Sheila Cooper expressed her serious concerns, following a recent Kenilworth Greenway liaison meeting, held on 15th July 2019. She explained how the meeting made her extremely angry and left many residents deeply concerned.
· Sheila Cooper explained how she believed insufficient information had been provided at previous Kenilworth Greenway liaison meetings. She also expressed her concerns regarding the assurances previously provided at these meetings.
· Sheila Cooper explained how she believed many longstanding unanswered questions on vital issues remained unresolved, after the most recent liaison meeting. She explained this included – the diversion design, the submission of Schedule 17 and Schedule 4 applications for the Greenway, the provision of controlled road crossings, provision for equines or cyclists, fencing, as well as the environmental and ecological impact.
· Sheila Cooper also detailed how, in her opinion, confused responses were provided as to whether Kenilworth Greenway would be used as a haul route. She requested for responses to these issues to be provided by HS2 Ltd as soon as possible.
Councillor Dicicco explained how it was proposed for an additional meeting of the Advisory Group to be held in October. He also detailed how, at this meeting, it had been agreed to schedule agenda items in respect of Kenilworth Greenway, as well as Public Right of Ways.
Jonathan Lord detailed how it was intended to hold another Kenilworth Greenway liaison meeting in late August. He explained how it was planned to provide a presentation to the group, in order to respond to the issues raised. Jonathan Lord also highlighted a wider public engagement event scheduled in Burton Green – he emphasised how they were looking to convey one clear consistent message to the public, to ensure clarification as to what was happening and where.
Richard Lloyd, Heart of England High Speed Railway Action Group, also made a deputation, where the points and views he raised included the following:
· Richard Lloyd also highlighted a number of concerns he had following the recent HS2 Kenilworth Greenway liaison meeting.
· It was questioned whether a planning application was required for a temporary Greenway.
· Richard Lloyd questioned how a number of design issues for the Greenway would be resolved – he raised his concerns regarding the impact of fencing on wildlife, uncontrolled road crossings, the sound and sight screening for work compounds, equine safety, as well as the need for clarification regarding landscaping and planting.
· Richard Lloyd requested confirmation as to whether the Greenway would be used as a haul route. He also queried whether an extension to the Greenway would still be provided. Richard Lloyd also highlighted tree felling proposed in the area and he queried the reasons for this.
· It was highlighted how numerous applications had been submitted under Schedule 4. Richard Lloyd explained ... view the full minutes text for item 73.
To receive the minutes of the previous meeting.
The Advisory Group received the minutes of the meeting held on 21st March 2019.
That the minutes of the meeting held on 21st March 2019 be confirmed as a correct record.
Current version of the Key Issues Tracker attached – Advisory Group to receive update.
Diane Booth, Head of Environmental Construction, HS2 Ltd, provided the presentation on environmental mitigation measures and the points raised included the following:
· For vegetation clearance and fencing, HS2 Ltd adhered to the following key commitments:
o Compliance with the Act and other legal obligations not covered by the Act.
o Meet and, where practicable, beat Environmental Minimum Requirements.
o Deliver against Undertakings and Assurances (U&As)
o Deliver value for money
· Diane Booth detailed how HS2 Ltd sought technical input from Specialist ecologists prior to and during the vegetation clearance being undertaken on site. She also explained the on-going site supervision, as well as daily reports produced by ecologists, to ensure adherence to the required standards.
· Diane Booth updated the Advisory Group on a range of mitigation works being undertaken – including specific measures and facilities for protected species such as bats, as well as tree planting and plant and soil translocation.
Members and local residents highlighted a number of issues in respect of the vegetation clearance undertaken in Balsall Common, including the following:
· Particular concern was expressed as to why this work had to be undertaken during the bird nesting season – especially as no subsequent works appeared to have taken place on the sites.
· Members emphasised the scale of the construction project and requested for HS2 Ltd to ensure clear, consistent messages were shared with all contractors and sub-contractors regarding minimum environmental standards.
· Members also flagged up how vegetation clearance had been undertaken during the evenings and they queried the need for this.
· Members highlighted HS2 Ltd’s commitment to ensure there was no net-loss of bio-diversity as part of the construction of HS2. In addition they also flagged up how HS2 Ltd was creating a green corridor alongside the railway. Members requested for greater communication of this to the general public, to clearly demonstrate any potential benefits over the long term.
· Residents detailed how they recognised information and live updates were provided via the HS2 Commonplace website – they requested for greater prominence to be given on this website to vegetation clearance works.
· In regards to any future vegetation clearance, full details of all the works to be undertaken in any area needed to be provided to the general public at the earliest opportunity.
Members also requested updates on the following items on the Key Issues Tracker:
· Chelmsley Wood public space – Jonathan Lord detailed how BBV were currently developing the construction programme and were looking at ways of limiting the impact on the pitch provision at Heath Park. Jonathan Lord also confirmed HS2 Ltd would be happy to work with the Council and local stakeholders, to explore opportunities for mitigation measures, with the potential to apply to the Community and Environment Fund.
· Participation in tree planting – Members queried whether there were any opportunities here for local engagement. Diane Booth highlighted two local environmental initiatives at Tame Valley Wetlands and the River Cole. She detailed how HS2 Ltd would continue to work alongside local stakeholders here to ... view the full minutes text for item 75.
To receive a update on the High Speed Rail 2 (HS2) project from the Council’s Highway Services Division. The HS2 Schedule 4 Application Tracker attached for information.
The Group Delivery Manager provided the Advisory Group clarification in respect of Schedule 4 and 17 applications, where the points raised included the following:
· Principal permission and deemed planning permission for the scheme had been given via the Act.
· There was not a process now for revisiting matters already agreed in the Act.
· The applications were requests for approval – The Council had limited grounds to determine approval.
Schedule 4 applications fell into two main categories:
· Notice of works and Traffic diversions - these were published by the Council online when received. Details of the applications received since March 2019 were provided on page 21 of the agenda.
· New highway works – the Council itself could also only comment on issues relating to road safety and congestion. Also the Council only had 28 days to determine these applications – it was explained there was not a duty to consult with Parish Councils and it would be impractical for the Council to do so. For confirmation, it was emphasised there was not a process for consultation or engagement for Schedule 4 applications.
Schedule 17 applications:
· As deemed planning permission had been granted by the Act, it was explained requests for approval under Schedule 17 were not planning applications.
· There was no statutory duty for Local Planning Authorities to consult bodies such as Parish Council’s on Schedule 17 submissions received. However, the Council had taken the decision to notify Parish/Town Councils and Ward Members of Schedule 17 submissions once they were received.
· Information relating to Schedule 17 submissions received by the Council was made available online. This included an alert system for when new submissions were received and uploaded. The Council has 56 days to respond to Schedule 17 submissions. However, it was noted there was provision for an extension of time within which to determine such submissions, to be agreed with HS2.
Advisory Group to receive update on the following:
· HS2 Interchange Station
· Historic Environment – Solihull Update. Historic Environment Manager in attendance to provide update.
· BIS highways overview
The Advisory Group received updates on the following topics:
Automated People Mover
Guy Stabler informed the Advisory Group of the designs for a new Automated People Mover system, highlighting the following:
· The People Mover would provide connectivity between the Interchange Station, Birmingham Airport, Birmingham International Railway Station, and the National Exhibition Centre (NEC).
· The total journey time (end to end) for the People Mover would be six minutes and it was anticipated to accommodate up to 2,100 passengers per hour in each direction.
· Artist impressions of the viaduct and various People Mover stops were provided.
· Guy Stabler detailed the proposed measures to minimise the environmental impact. An artist’s impression of the maintenance facility was provided.
· Guy Stabler explained the work undertaken with local stakeholders, including the Urban Growth Company within Solihull.
Members expressed concern regarding the potential design of the maintenance facility. Guy Stabler explained how, as part of the design, the maintenance facility had to be appropriate for a rural context. He also detailed how they were working with the Urban Growth Company to ensure the design linked with any potential development for the UK Central Hub which may change this context.
Members also highlighted the peaks and troughs in demand at the Airport and NEC. They queried how the People Mover would accommodate this. Guy Stabler explained how the People Mover would run on a constant loop; however he confirmed there was the potential for it to slow down to accommodate drops in demand. He detailed how they were working with the Airport and NEC to ensure the design of the People Mover was appropriate for larger events and associated crowds.
Tony Hanna, the Historic Environment Manager, conducted a presentation, where he detailed how HS2 Ltd were undertaking the largest archaeological programme in Europe along the line of the route. The points raised included the following:
· An archaeological evaluation strategy had been developed – Tony Hanna detailed how they undertook geophysical surveys along the line of the route.
· Trial trenching – Tony Hanna provided examples of trial trenching in Bickenhill, Balsall Common and Coleshill. It was explained the exact sites of archaeological digs had to remain confidential, due to the risk of looting.
· Archaeological mitigation – it was detailed how the findings of the geophysical and surveys trail trenching informed the necessary archaeological mitigation.
· HS2 and heritage – Tony Hanna detailed how they were keen to engage the public in respect of archaeological discoveries. He explained how they wished to explore opportunities for open days and school visits. Tony Hanna requested for Members and residents to let them know of any interested local groups.
Members highlighted the potential for interesting finds within the local area – they asked for reassurances that any such finds would be kept in the West Midlands. Tony Hanna confirmed it was HS2 Ltds intention to work with local museums to ensure that interesting finds were kept in the local area. Jonathan Lord also highlighted the potential to apply for ... view the full minutes text for item 77.