Christopher Pincher, MP for Tamworth, together with Lichfield MP, Michael Fabricant, met Patrick McLoughlin MP, Secretary of State for Transport, this week to personally submit their Property Compensation Consultation responses to the HS2 announcement.
The consultation follows the government’s announcement on the HS2 Long Term Hardship scheme and voluntary purchase rules last year. They also discussed the announcement yesterday of the HS2 northern extension through Lichfield District and the route to Leeds which passes close to Hockley between Tamar Road and the M42.
Mr Pincher said afterwards, “I met Patrick McLoughlin to personally deliver my compensation submission as well as letters from my constituents making clear their support for a property bond. I agree that this is the best way to ensure people affected by HS2 blight receive fair compensation and get the property market in blighted areas moving again. I want all residences affected by HS2 to receive the best mitigation and compensation package available. I made this point again to the Secretary of State.
“I also discussed the impact of the proposed Leeds extension on local communities in Tamworth. In his speech on Monday, Mr McLoughlin stressed three times that this announcement is his “initial preferred route” and there is a long way to go before a final decision is reached. He said, “This is the start of the process not the end.”
“I have secured a full meeting with Mr McLoughlin in mid February where I will discuss with him in detail the potential impact on Tamworth if this route is finally chosen, particularly on Hockley and the huge disruption that will be caused to the A5 by rebuilding of the M42 junction. I will ask him to look at less harmful alternatives.”
The second phase of HS2 was published on Monday 28th January, which will see high-speed rail extend to Manchester and Leeds.
Responding to the Transport Secretary’s announcement, Mr Pincher said in the House of Commons, “I became aware that the proposed Leeds alignment will run just a few hundred yards from Wilnecote and Stonydelph in my constituency when I looked at the HS2 website this morning. Will my right hon. Friend agree to meet me to discuss mitigations in the Tamworth area if his initial preferred alignment becomes his final preferred alignment? More particularly, can we discuss other, better alternatives?”
Mr McLoughlin replied, “I am certainly prepared to meet my hon. Friend and discuss alternatives that he may wish to put forward. I hope that he will realise that in deciding on the route through his constituency we have tried to follow an existing major road network. Of course, I will meet him and listen carefully to any representations he has to make.”