8th Dec, 2016

Stratford District Council to have say over HS2 detailed designs

Stratford Editorial 9th Sep, 2016 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

STRATFORD District Council will have a say over the detailed design plans for HS2.

Members of the authority’s ruling Cabinet voted unanimously in favour of becoming a “qualifying authority” in relation to the HS2 Hybrid Bill at a meeting on Monday (September 5).

The Hybrid Bill will grant planning permission for the construction of the high speed railway link between London and Birmingham.

But that permission will be subject of a number of conditions requiring those charged with constructing the line to obtain the consent or approval of local planning authorities along the route for some matters including the detailed design and materials of buildings and structures such as bridges and tunnel entrances.

The bill offers each local planning authority the choice between having a wide or narrow range of controls over the approval of such details – with

local planning authorities opting for a wider range of controls referred to as “qualifying authorities.”

Qualifying authorities will be responsible for issuing consents and approvals in relation to the detailed design and appearance of structures and other elements of the scheme.

But that responsibility does not extend to the actual principle of their construction which is permitted by the bill itself.

Under the bill, there are only two grounds upon which the details of structures and features forming part of the railway may be refused.

These are:

– if the design or appearance of the works ought to be modified to preserve the local environment and sites of historical interest or prevent prejudicial effects on road safety

– if the development ought to and could reasonable be carried out elsewhere on land within act limits

Becoming a qualifying authority means the council has to commit to dealing with applications for consent within eight weeks and while the applications are likely to be for relatively minor matters, it is expected there will be a fairly substantial number during the process.

Prior to any submissions being made to the council, the works to construct the railway will have the equivalent of outline planning permission and the council will only be able to consider matters such as the details of design and materials.

The £42.6billion high-speed line will run through the heart of the county and across land within the district.