HS2 has asked for planning permission to build three bridges over the busy A45 Coventry Road in Solihull.
The bridges would pass over the HS2 railway line located in the Bickenhill area, to the southeast of Birmingham International Train Station and to the northeast of the National Motorcycle Museum.
The high-speed rail company has outlined the A45 Coventry Road, the A45 Service Road and East Way as the proposed sites for the bridges.
Work would also need to take place in realigning the roads in the approach to the bridges. The busy Junction 6 of the M42 is located 1km east of the proposed area.
An ecological assessment has been carried out by HS2, which says that bat roosts have been identified ‘around but not within’ the outlined work site. In the planning application, the company says that trees within the site have ‘low roost potential’ and are not currently being used as bat roosts.
What has HS2 said about the plans in their own words?
HS2 said: “With regards to the trees which have been identified as having a low potential for bat roosts, if these trees require felling, they shall be soft-felled under ecological supervision and the resulting arisings left until the following day before being removed from the site.
“Additional woodland habitat will be planted during construction of the assets,” HS2 continued, “and will serve to increase the availability of habitat for the noted protected species (following the establishment of the habitat).
Provision of the new woodland planting around the overbridges will restore connectivity with the wider landscape.”
A landscape survey has also been conducted by HS2. It said: “Native woodland habitat using native broadleaved woodland species will be planted on both sides of the A45 overbridges.”
It also said that ‘no noise mitigation scenarios have been subjected for assessment’ within the region as noise levels are already ‘considerable’ from the surrounding highways.
Is this the only planning application currently under consideration by Solihull Council?
HS2 is currently waiting on a handful of planning applications to be decided on, which Solihull Council said were ‘under consideration’. A more recent one submitted on April 1 would involve earthworks around the A452 Chester Road and A446 Stonebridge Road intersection if approved, while another is concerning two multi-storey car parks that would serve the HS2 Interchange station in Solihull.
One HS2 planning application to be discussed at a Solihull Planning Committee meeting at the end of March was the proposal to use residential roads Waste Lane and Kelsey Lane near Balsall Common as lorry routes that would see nearly 200 lorries pass through every day. This application was unanimously rejected by the council.
What has Solihull Council said about HS2 planning applications?
A Solihull Council spokesperson said: “The Council has now received an application from HS2 for the construction of three overbridges that will carry the A45 Coventry Road, A45 Service Road and East Way over the railway and supporting works. The application has been made under Schedule 17 of the HS2 Act and is now subject to a thorough assessment by Council planning officers.”
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