On 24 January 2022, the government introduced the High Speed Rail (Crewe-Manchester) Bill to parliament. The Hybrid Bill includes the powers to build and maintain HS2, compulsorily acquire land and rights, and make alterations to utility infrastructure.
Likely significant effects
A consultation on the Environmental Statement, which accompanied the Hybrid Bill was launched on 25 January. The statement sets out the likely significant effects by community area and at a route-wide level.
The consultation closed on 31 March and now an independent assessor will be appointed by parliament, who will provide a report summarising the issues raised in the consultation.
No date for second reading yet
The responses received to this consultation and the independent assessor’s report will be available to members of parliament at least 14 days in advance of the Second Reading Debate in the House of Commons. A date for the second reading has not yet been announced.
A meeting with members affected by Phase 2b was held on Tuesday 1 March to discuss the contents of the Environmental Statement and issues or concerns that the NFU should raise within the response.
Following the meeting, the NFU submitted a response to the Environmental Statement consultation raising a number of issues.
- Impacts on farm businesses.
- Land required for the scheme.
- Acquisition of land.
- Agricultural soils.
- Severed land and access to land.
- Accommodation bridges.
- Borrow pits.
- Water supplies.
- Mitigation measures.
Compensation and accommodation works
As stated in the concluding paragraph of the response, all farmers want to know is what will their compensation be and the accommodation works that will take place to give them certainty for the future.