Have your say on the blight of HS2 through Woodlesford and Oulton
As the deadline approaches for the HS2 consultation I thought it was vital to remind local people how important it is that you respond and tell HS2 and this government what you think!
We all knew that HS2 would bring devastation to our area, but these latest documents really spell out the level of disruption that would come to the area.
Respond to the environmental consultation at:
Post: FREEPOST HS2 PHASE 2B ENVIRONMENTAL CONSULTATION
I have put in my own strong objection and comments to this consultation. I can’t support HS2 and the chaos it would bring coming through Woodlesford and Oulton and have done the same since the HS2 journey began responding to all the consultations and lobbying on behalf of local people. As your elected representative for Rothwell I am against HS2 bringing a huge blight to Woodlesford and Oulton. I will always do what I think is best for our area. I urge you to respond to the consultation as the impact on Woodlesford and Oulton will be huge and far reaching.
I have been one of the voices arguing from the start and am continuing to argue that the route should be moved away from Woodlesford so that it doesn’t impact on as many people and a whole village. It’s disappointing and unacceptable that Chris Grayling, continues to ignore the wishes of local people and isn’t good enough. I’ve also lobbied for the council’s response to highlight the blight on local people and demand a better deal for residents.
Just some of the points I’ve stated in brief which you may consider using in your response, (a more detailed summary can be found on the SoWhat group website sowhat.org.uk):
Health impacts – disturbance of old landfill and mining sites which are likely to contain asbestos and lead.
Air pollution – More traffic and dust, HS2 not planning to monitor.
Noise and vibration – During construction and even through the night, disturbing and possibly harmful. Thresholds set too high by HS2.
Well-being – Residents have already suffered stress and anxiety due to the limbo and worry which will only rise when construction gets underway.
Proximity – Construction compounds too close to homes including in Woodlesford.
Homeowners – Unfair compensation package, too many hoops to jump through and most will not be eligible for compensation but many will be impacted by house prices and inability to sell.
Flooding and subsidence – Untold what the impact of construction will be on flooding and home insurance.
Major impact on local traffic – There will be major local road closures which will force traffic onto already congested routes causing gridlock. Hundreds of workers will travel to and from construction sites.
Train station closures – Woodlesford station would have closure/s for an unknown period of time, whether it would be totally closed or closed at weekends it will cause major further disruption.
Business – No compensation for businesses or landlords even though they will be impacted negatively due to closures.
Green space decimated – Most of Water Haigh Woodland Park will be used for construction. There will be an unacceptable loss of woodland, parks and green belt. This will harm local wildlife. Changes to the local landscape will be adverse and unacceptable.
The blight of our villages from this huge engineering project cutting straight through them is too much for these quiet villages to take and underneath are riddled with old mine shafts which I don’t believe has been taken proper account of.
What we really need investment in is a HS3 connecting the north. Chris Grayling has already wobbled on his commitment on this leg of the scheme and a lot of people would be suprised if HS2 actually made it this far north. We need to let the government and HS2 know that we do not want HS2 tearing through our local villages. If HS2 does happen it should not come through Woodlesford and Oulton. A more direct tunnelled route, or a route following the existing transport corridors would be cost neutral in comparison to the complex viaduct and tunnel construction proposed. I am strongly lobbying for compensation to be available to all those impacted.
I understand the frustrations that local people have. The fact is all the main parties are in support of HS2. However, it is the current Conservative government and the previous coalition government of Conservatives and Liberal Democrats that are responsible for the route, the compensation and the management of the consultation which has been abysmal.
It is important that all local people have their say. We’re all really busy especially at this time of year, but lets not let that deter us all from commenting. It only needs to be brief to drive home to this government and HS2 the impacts on our communities.
You can see some of my previous statements on HS2 here:
23 September 2015 | New council leader meets with HS2 Woodlesford residents
30 October 2014 | Letter to residents near government’s proposed HS2 route
24 July 2013 | HS2 Ltd visit area to see devastation of planned route
19 February 2013 | HS2 and Transport secretary show contempt for local people