15:02 Monday 13 May 2013

Compromise is found in HS2 airport row

Written byRICH GUTTRIDGE

THOUSANDS of jobs look to have been safeguarded after the Government announced plans to axe a development at East Midlands Airport were to be reconsidered following pressure from council chiefs and an MP in the region.

The Government has announced it is proposing to extend the HS2 rail tunnel which had threatened to scupper plans to build a Strategic Rail Freight Interchange (SRFI) depot close to the airport and on the proposed site of the high-speed rail route, a development set to create 7,000 jobs.

Ministers appear to have given in to concerns raised by Andrew Bridgen, MP for North West Leicestershire, as well as chiefs at Leicestershire County Council, announcing it is considering extending the tunnel, which is part of the plans for phase two of HS2, to run under the airport.

Nick Rushton, Leicestershire County Council leader, said: “I’m delighted that the Government has listened to the concerns that Andrew Bridgen and I raised about the possible loss of thousands of jobs, if HS2 had blocked the proposed Roxhill development.

“Having a longer tunnel will enable this development, and the much-needed jobs it will create, to go ahead.

“I continue to press HS2 and the Government for further measures to reduce the negative impact the current plans have on the environment, businesses and housing in other parts of North West Leicestershire.”

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