Council to respond to Leeds High Speed Rail opponents

Leeds Council is set to respond to a group of Leeds residents campaigning against high speed rail at its decision-making executive board meeting next week.

copy-cropped-logo-webAt a recent deputation to full council, the Swillington Oulton and Woodlesford HS2 Action Together (SOWHAT) campaign group spoke against the Government’s high speed rail proposals, which will see the HS2 Phase 2 line pass through their community.

The proposed route passes close to the communities of Oulton, Woodlesford and Swillington. In particular the proposals include for the junction serving Leeds and the North being placed within close proximity to residential properties at Woodlesford.

SOWHAT are seeking the Council’s support for their campaign to have the route relocated and for a better compensation package for those affected.

Officers note in their report to the meeting that ultimate responsibility for the scheme lies with the Government and that the council’s position is one of ‘informal consultee’.

The reports calls for councillors to:

“Recognise the significant and understandable concerns of the local communities situated on the initial proposed route of HS2 and the present limited scope of the Exceptional Hardship Scheme for compensation.”

The reports also says:

“It is also essential that HS2 Ltd fully consider both alternative route options and mitigation measures in their forthcoming work to confirm the route proposals.”

It will be interesting to see what the position of councillors is at the exec board meeting on Wednesday. Campaigners will be hoping the council, despite its limited influence on the plans, will be able to support their concerns and affect some changes to the route.

A local consultation and information event was held by HS2 Ltd in Rothwell today.

Swillington Organic Farm is on the proposed HS2 route and its owners claim it would destroy woodland, wildlife, the business and jobs at the farm.

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