Stop HS2 in Erewash and Trowell await their invitation to the Oakervee review

Published on: Wednesday, 4th September 2019

The HS2 Oakervee Review is now underway and aims to make an “informed decision” on the controversial rail project.

As a result, local campaigners have said that they are waiting for an invitation to contribute, but in a pointed statement, described organisations such as D2N2 and Midland Connect as 'quangos' and suggested that instead, they would merely get to dine out on the catering to cover the review, as paid for by taxpayers.

Stop HS2 Erewash and Trowell accused the individuals behind such organisations as having been the heart of a cost deception and were therefore critical that they were still representing the public.

A statement from the two campaign groups said: "We are still hearing that the Midlands Engine needs HS2 and it will bring us benefits, but the very same people have not been honest about the costs of the project. It is about time the public had their say on HS2 considering that we are all paying the bill."

Long Eaton resident Liz Cleaver said: “I can't believe its been allowed to carry on for this long.  It's fraud on a colossal scale.  How residents have been expected to put up with the stress of it all for years is disgusting.  The worst of it is, those most impacted will be the last people to be enlightened into what is happening”.

Stop HS2 said that it was clear that both them and the public that they had been lied to on the issue of HS2 suggesting that no detailed investigations have been made into the best solution favoured by local councils and our MPs, and that to do so would result in the true cost estimates for the damage that HS2 would do to the area, damage it said would cost far more than simple tunnelling, and meaning that a detailed cost comparison from HS2 Ltd would not be seen.

It said that the impact of HS2 on the Erewash valley from Long Eaton, Sandiacre, Trowell and beyond would be devastating, whether in the form of a viaduct, cutting or embankment, and added that the suggested Trowell refinement took HS2 Ltd 10 years to decide that moving 1.3 miles of the M1 would be too difficult and expensive and said that this was an example of poor HS2 planning and management!

Stop HS2 Erewash and Trowell said that there are now families in both Long Eaton and Trowell who know at some stage HS2 Ltd may or may not take their homes. It said that such a state of limbo was unacceptable, stating that leaving people hanging by a proverbial hook was inhumane.  THe campaigners said that communities are all suffering because HS2 Ltd were incapable of planning this project despite the £7.1 billion spent so far.

It said that over 20 affected families in Trowell had so far only received a standard letter notifying them that HS2 Ltd were taking their homes, describing this as a cold and callous way to find out, with HS2 suggested to be treating communities with much disdain and disrespect.

Trowell residents in Tiree Close have issued their joint statement:

“As residents of Tiree Close we have had to live with the HS2 proposals for the last few years. From a 60ft high viaduct that would tower over our Close through to the latest proposals of the compulsory purchase of our homes.

Living with the uncertainty has had a negative effect on our lives, causing
concern for our future.

Whilst we as residents feel that HS2 is a waste of money and resources, it will have an impact on the rural community and cause massive disruption for the residents everyday lives, as well as with what seems to be the extortionate costs as we are constantly being told from the media, we welcome the review of the project and hope that a favourable decision will be made and we can continue our lives without having HS2 hanging over us.”

Stop HS2 Erewash and Trowell said that the suggested Trowell HS2 realignment to miss the M1 was one of many such changes HS2 Ltd had made over the last 10 years, leading to what it said was the unacceptable demolitions of a minimum of 20 houses and 2 of Trowell's largest businesses, in a similar way to Long Eaton being set to lose 183 houses and 70 commercial properties if the unchanged 23m high HS2 viaduct is allowed in the Bonsall Street, New Tythe Street, Meadow Lane, Newbery Avenue, & Trent Lane areas of Long Eaton.   It said that a refinement in Trowell may reduce construction difficulty and costs, but that there was a fear that further “cost savings” could produce a sub-standard ”white elephant” project.

It claimed that in the area, over 1,000 jobs would be lost or re-located, but that for many there is little space nearby to relocate to, and that, as it claimed had been seen with HS2 Ltd, getting fair and prompt compensation is not usually given.

Stop HS2 said that all the main roads in large parts of Erewash and Broxtowe Boroughs would need to be re-built or adjusted during the 10 years of construction, and the Erewash valley, Sandiacre beauty spot and wildlife areas around Trowell and further North would be damaged irreparably.

It also suggested that beyond 2033 there could then be many years of extensive building work to create the Toton City that councils and business leaders so strongly desire. Funding sources for Toton City, a so called new Canary Wharf, was described as a big unknown, adding that it may result in a state of “remediation doldrums” citing the nearby Stanton Ironworks development site as an example.

The statement from Brent Poland and Vaughan Morris said that HS2 Ltd want to encourage development of the Toton Sidings site in return for the authorities allowing the new HS2 line to pass through this region.

It said that HS2 Ltd claimed to act as a catalyst to enable regeneration - publicly funded of course - so asked why the site at Toton Sidings couldn't be redeveloped responsibly without a high speed railway and associated viaduct going through it.
 
It was reported that a DEFRA Trent Valley Management Plan 2010 for the “Erewash Valley” was for the area to be returned to nature to act as a vital lung and floodplain receptor for the future and said that, with the unpredictability of our climate, it was both irresponsible and dangerous to be urbanising the Erewash valley.

Elected representatives were accused of being very quiet and having failed the public on HS2, suggesting that they should be regularly keeping the public informed and fighting for what is best for our communities, not themselves or their political allegiances.

Stop HS2 said that they were waiting for a response to the HS2 Oakervee Review from councils and MPs and were also questioning their knowledge of cost overruns. It said: "We believe that our communities have been kept in the dark by those who liaise with HS2. Could the signing of Non-disclosure Agreements in relation to council/HS2 Ltd business be inhibiting communications with the public?"

It claimed that investigators were reportedly looking into allegations of corruption in the way some HS2 contracts may have been awarded to suppliers, some of them in our area, suggesting that the Serious Fraud Office is making enquiries into police reports about the way HS2 Ltd force residents and businesses out of their land and buildings without fair payments or compensations being made. Further revelations will no doubt emerge of this project's secrets, that are allowed to grow by the “distancing” of HS2 Ltd's arms length company status from the government, who remain accountable to us the taxpayer overall.

Brent Poland from Stop HS2 Erewash concluded: “Our Erewash and Trowell groups have agreed that if HS2 goes ahead we will fight it together, should it be moved we will fight it together, should this project be altered we will fight it together. We demand nothing less than the complete scrapping of HS2 and the victims of the project to receive both an apology and adequate compensation for the trauma that they have suffered.”

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