HS2's Service Depot increases pressure for industrial zone
31st May 2013
Birmingham City Council’s proposals to build a state-of-the-art industrial park, creating in the region of 7,000 jobs on the former LDV site at Washwood Heath, appear to be over.
HS2Ltd is pushing ahead with its plans to construct a service depot on the former industrial site, which will include a carriage washing machine, overnight train storage, and a 12 track maintenance building.
It is anticipated 400 jobs would be created, but the majority will be low-skilled and relatively low paid.
The Birmingham City Council Development Plan 2031 highlights a requirement for 50 hectares of industrial units over the next 20 years and proposes the construction on an area of the Sutton Coldfield green belt.
However, with a reported land capacity issue for housing and employment in Birmingham, it does seem rather bizarre to take up so much land at Washwood Heath for such a small number of jobs. Especially with the opportunity to create 7,000 jobs through an alternative and superior development.
MP Andrew Mitchell (Con Sutton Coldfield) has written to Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin urging him to intervene.
Mr Mitchell said in the letter: “As it stands all interested parties are yet to be convinced that the Washwood Heath site is the only viable option.
"I trust that you too will need to be convinced before this significant private sector-led employment generation opportunity is lost.”
The HS2 service area is clearly in the wrong location and, while many support the HS2 scheme overall, it is time for HS2 to rethink its options.
Get involved and make a difference
The Secretary of State for Transport has announced the 'HS2 Phase One Design Refinement' consultation to allow people to comment on environmental impacts and design revisions of the proposed route. The consultation began on 16 May 2013 and will close on 11 July 2013.
Since the Government’s announcement on its preferred route for Phase One, engineers and environmental specialists have continued developing the design of this route to ensure that it is as efficient, cost effective and environmentally friendly as is practicable, whilst also minimising impact on communities.
How to respond
Please act now to make your views on the revised plans known in one of the following ways:
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