Chesterfield received a major boost last year when it was confirmed that High Speed rail would serve the Town and that a key maintenance depot would be built at Staveley to service the line. Local MP, Toby Perkins, recently met with representatives from HS2 Ltd who have confirmed that construction of the depot in Staveley is expected to begin in 2024, if their plans are given Parliamentary approval.
HS2 Ltd have published their Working Draft Environmental Statement for the consultation into the Staveley to Aston part of the route and an online tool will be available for people to look at and comment on the plans.
Toby said, “There is still a long way to go for these plans, which will be subject to consultation and parliamentary scrutiny before securing Royal Assent, but it was good to see HS2 Ltd are committed to the current plans that provide Chesterfield with the benefits of High Speed rail serving the Town, but will have a relatively low impact on my constituents. I have stressed the importance of reducing the impact on local residents and businesses and HS2 Ltd have detailed a number of steps they will be taking to mitigate any visual or noise impacts on the area and address environmental concerns. The Staveley depot will become the first part of building the route from Staveley to Aston and will mean that Chesterfield is the first to benefit from the new jobs the project will create.”
As part of the mitigation steps planned for the area HS2 Ltd plans to reduce the visual and noise impact on the area through landscaping, hedgerow creation and noise-reduction barriers. There could also be work completed on a number of road bridges along the line which will need to be raised to allow for overhead electrical lines. HS2 Ltd would initially build two compounds at Staveley to store the construction materials for the line. These compounds would then become the maintenance depot, which will be a permanent site.
Toby added, “I also raised issues on behalf of the Chesterfield Canal Trust, as they need clarity from HS2 Ltd regarding the plans and how it may impact on their own developments and ability to secure funding. There are ongoing talks between HS2 and the Trust but HS2 need to do more to ensure that their plans cease to blight future funding applications made by the Canal trust. The Trust need certainty about the plans and a letter that showed HS2’s intended plans might be helpful as they make future bids. There is also an argument that the Trust should be compensated for funding that they have already been denied due to the uncertainty caused.
A major project of this sort will always bring upheaval and uncertainty but it is important this exciting regeneration project is not at the expense of the Canal which is another one. ”
You can view more information and give your views as part of the consultation by visiting https://www.hs2.org.uk/in-your-area/have-your-say/