Since the original announcement of HS2 in 2012 the LS26 area has seen house prices fall and the property market in general showing decline in our area leaving many unable to sell their homes.
The impact on the area that HS2 will bring on an ecological level will be just as bad if not worse with what was a beautiful view of the countryside, river and oxbow lakes being overshadowed by the construction of an ugly, concrete viaduct.
We need to act now while we have the chance, local group SOWHAT (Swillington, Oulton, Woodlesford, HS2 Action Together) group is campaigning against the HS2 route and we urge all readers to join their campaign.
Some key points taken from the SOWHAT website
- If and when HS2 is operational it is likely that train movements will be 24×7 – with 18 passenger trains per hour (one every 3 minutes), as well as freight and maintenance that will be required around the clock.
- The skyline and countryside will be dominated forevermore by the huge concrete viaduct – with the track at 28.5m above ground, the viaduct will tower high above the village at over 36m / 120 feet. It will be seen and heard from almost everywhere and every home as it spans the entire valley.
- The two tunnels will cut through Fleet Lane, diving 45m under the village before resurfacing between the canal and existing train line by the country park. Running through the floodplain, former quarry and landfill sites, abandoned mines, and the slag heap that constantly slides into the canal.
Act NOW before it’s too late!
SOWHAT has already proven that there is strength in numbers. Despite LCC, HS2 did listen to us and have tried to find a better alternative within the demands being made on them for the station location. Local residents and those against HS2 need to stand united and respond en mass, making their feelings known beyond any doubt HS2, our MP and LCC need to realise that opposition to HS2 will not go away until the issue is resolved.
Everyone in the area – friends and family near and far, NEED to respond to the official HS2 consultations. EVERYONE in the area needs to write to their local MP and the LCC (details and links below). They all need to understand the impact they are having at all levels; crippling financial loss, a decade of disruption, a lifetime of blight and countryside lost forever.
Every individual needs to take action now. Don’t just submit one response or write one letter per household, every individual needs to speak out – the volume of personal responses is what makes the difference. Stock answers and group responses don’t carry as much weight as individual representations. Don’t be put off, the SOWHAT group are here to help and can provide you with the resources you need.
- Public Meeting: 2pm Sunday 19 February 2017 at Oulton Institute – an update on the recent meeting with HS2 here in the villages and how to focus efforts on urgent actions, including consultation responses and letters / emails to the local MP
- HS2 Route Consultation Response – HS2 have confirmed that responses are due by 9 March 2017. (Even though it has not been formally announced for our area)
- HS2 Compensation Consultation – the last opportunity to influence the woeful compensation arrangements the Government has proposed – responses due by 9 March 2017
- Write or email our local MP – Alec Shelbrooke needs to understand that we are not happy with the current proposals and that we need him to stop HS2, he currently doesn’t appreciate the scale of opposition as his mailbox has been too quiet since the November announcement
- Write or email LCC Executive – Judith Blake and Keith Wakefield need to be held accountable for the hardship and destruction they have inflicted on our villages. The lack of representation from Cllr Karen Bruce has done little to influence her council. Tom Riordanneeds to hear our voice
- Spread the word – tell your family, friends and neighbours, shout about it on Twitter, Facebook and social media, display the SOWHAT flyer (click her to download it) in your window, encourage everyone to object to HS2 by completing their online forms, written forms, or a simple letter – every UK resident anywhere in the country has the right to say no
I need help, what next?
Members of SOWHAT will be at the Midland pub/café from 10am until midday on Saturday 25 February and Saturday 4 March to provide assistance with consultation responses. They will be able to proide have template responses and guidance documents available to help with paper or online forms. Drop in to get more information, complete your response or get more help filling in an online form over wifi while enjoying a coffee.