Groups eye environmental impact as HS2 rail link is approved in principle

High Speed 2 (HS2), the proposed £33bn rail link from London to Birmingham that was approved in principle last week, has divided industry leaders.

Landscape Institute chief executive Alastair McCapra said concessions on the route and tunnels meant that the project did not necessarily spell disaster for green spaces. Designers had "a great deal of expertise" to deliver this kind of project to minimise damage, he added.

Campaign to Protect Rural England chief executive Shaun Spiers welcomed the Government's commitment to invest in rail rather than new roads or air travel but remained worried about the "unacceptable" impact.

But Woodland Trust head of campaigning Nikki Williams said environmental impacts had not been properly assessed. "Any government agreeing to the destruction of 21 ancient woodlands cannot call itself the 'greenest ever'."

The Freight Transport Association said HS2 must not "subjugate rail freight needs". But Garden Centre Association chair Peter Burks said: "Many stores do not get products delivered by rail and building work would disrupt centres in the vicinity."

NFU planning policy adviser Ivan Moss said: "Our priority is to minimise disruption for businesses, ensure fair compensation for land purchase and make sure those living and working in the countryside are not disproportionately impacted."

HS2 Ltd responded: "We still have consultations and environmental impact assessments before royal assent in 2016. Lots of changes could happen."


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

Phygelius

Phygelius

Masses of colourful tubular flowers can give these plants a substantial presence in the border, says Miranda Kimberley.

Tomorrow's tractors

Tomorrow's tractors

These machines have advanced rapidly over recent years but what does the future hold? Sally Drury looks ahead.

Tractors - Maintenance models

Tractors - Maintenance models

The tractors chosen by professionals across the sector reflect the best features, backup and support on offer, says Sally Drury.


Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Industry Data

An exclusive report for HW subscribers revealing the key development trends, clients and locations for 2017.

Are you a landscape supplier?

Horticulture Week Landscape Project Leads

If so, you should be receiving our new service for Horticulture Week subscribers delivering landscape project leads from live, approved, planning applications across the UK.

Landscape Contracts & Tenders

Products & Kit Resources

BALI National Landscape Awards 2016

Read all about the winning projects in the awards, run in association with Horticulture Week.

Noel Farrer

Founding partner of Farrer Huxley Associates Noel Farrer on landscape and green space
 

Read Noel Farrer