County council to discuss HS2 next week

Northamptonshire County Council’s cabinet will consider a report about the proposed HS2 rail link at a meeting next week.

One of the recommendations of the report is to oppose the HS2 Bill which is currently going through parliament.

This is not the same as opposing HS2 itself, which the county council approves of in principle.

The formal opposition of the Bill is legally necessary to indicate that the county council wants changes to the Bill. These changes are designed to assist those parishes and residents in the south west of the county, who are adversely affected by the construction of HS2.

Cllr Michael Clarke, county council cabinet member for transport, highways and environment, said: “There’s been a lot of talk about whether HS2 will bring benefits or not and we’ve heard opinions which are both positive and negative. However the council wants to offer practical, relevant and useful support to those who will be affected in the south west of the county.

“There is a recognition that the government will be pressing ahead with HS2 and we have a desire as a county council to deal with issues pragmatically as we want to make sure that the people of Northamptonshire are not negatively impacted.”

There are a number of respects in which amendments to the Bill need to be sought to reduce the impact which the scheme has on the interests of the county council and the communities it represents.

There are concerns about the Bill’s environmental statement as well as a number of highways issues, which are outlined in the report.