Solihull councillors approve five HS2 projects - with two key requirements

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Councillors in Solihull have given their approval for five major HS2 schemes - but there are two key provisions

Councillors have given their approval to major HS2 highways projects between Solihull and Coventry.

But Solihull cabinet members stressed the need for pedestrian cycling and walking facilities at the schemes.

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The approval means all the latest applications, which include new bridges, a dual-carriageway and roundabout, are likely to go through unopposed when HS2 submits them for final approval in the coming months.

The five schemes – part of the latest plans announced for the building of the high speed rail link connecting to a HS2 Interchange Station – are:

  1. An overbridge at B4101 Waste Lane
  2. An overbridge at Lavender Hall Lane
  3. A new roundabout and dual carriageway at A452 Kenilworth Road
  4. Overbridge at Diddington Lane
  5. Underbridge at Coleshill Heath Road

CGI of HS2 new route from London to BirminghamCGI of HS2 new route from London to Birmingham
CGI of HS2 new route from London to Birmingham | LDRS

The projects were discussed at the latest meeting of Solihull Council’s cabinet. Coun Bob Sleigh, Conservative councillor for Bickenhill, commented on the Diddington Lane scheme in his ward.

The plan there is for the lane, which runs between Hampton in Arden and Stonebridge, to run on a bridge over the HS2 line. “The officers have spent many hours with the parish council and myself discussing the issue of Diddington Lane,” Coun Sleigh said.

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“The community wanted it closed, the (High-Speed Rail 2) Act prevented us from doing that. We are where we are. I would say thanks for what has been done here with the realignment and overbridge which supports the opening of Diddington Lane going forward.”

HS2 plans at Diddington Lane in SolihullHS2 plans at Diddington Lane in Solihull
HS2 plans at Diddington Lane in Solihull | LDRS

Council documents make mention of “additional space for future cycling and walking facilities” at Lavender Hall Lane, which is proposed to run over the HS2 line over a bridge.

Conservative Coun Ian Courts, the authority’s leader, asked officers for clarity whether that meant there would be pedestrian access as he understood HS2 had already made a concession for that. Council officers explained this early stage was the “core work” HS2 needed to carry out but space was being secured to provide those extra facilities “at a later stage”.

HS2 plans at Lavender Hall in SolihullHS2 plans at Lavender Hall in Solihull
HS2 plans at Lavender Hall in Solihull | LDRS

Liberal Democrat leader Laura McCarthy asked what the timescale would be for the building of the extra facilities. Officers said there was no fixed timescale but added it would be “before the opening of HS2”, with funding potentially through the council’s HS2 road safety fund or other HS2 funding streams.

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The cabinet agreed to delegate authority to council officers who will effectively rubber-stamp applications as HS2 submits them in the next three months. It was also agreed to receive a further report detailing the proposed layout for the A45 Stonebridge junction – expected to be the final HS2 major highway scheme.

HS2 is planned to open before 2033 and would run between London and Birmingham. Last year it was announced the government was scrapping the northern leg of HS2. The meeting was held at the Civic Suite on Thursday, April 4.

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