17:00 Wednesday 15 January 2014

Council officially objects to HS2 - but begins planning for the worst

Written byRICH GUTTRIDGE

A COUNCIL has formally objected a plan to bring high-speed rail to the region days after it emerged it could lead to the loss of nearly 1,500 jobs.

North West Leicestershire District Council has officially objected to the proposed West Midlands to Leeds route of HS2.

Chiefs cited a loss of jobs, impact on communities and the perceived lack of benefit for the area for the decision.

The Mail reported earlier this week that the route could see the loss of 1,000 potential jobs at a huge distribution centre which is planned to be built near Ashby, as well as a further 425 jobs at the Plastic Omnium factory in Measham.

Both could be demolished should the route be confirmed.

The council also said HS2 would hinder its plans to regenerate Measham, with a planned canalside development having also been thrown into doubt.

But as well as stating their objection, the council has also begun planning for the worst.

Members have devised a number of requests to be taken to the Government in the event of the route being given the green light as ‘compensation’ for the region.

These include the reopening of the historic Ivanhoe railway line between Burton and Leicester and additional planting in the National Forest.

District council planning chief Trevor Pendleton said: “The proposed route brings with it a significant number of negative impacts on our district and we want to make it clear that we object to the proposals.

“However, we would be foolish to think that our objection and those of others will definitely prevent the proposed route going ahead, and so we have suggested measures that we feel would bring benefit to our residents and businesses.”

HS2 Ltd reiterated that no final decision had been taken on the route and stressed the plan would create jobs and growth.

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