Cannock Chase Council’s leader, Cllr George Adamson, has welcomed news of the controversial HS2 rail network being given the go ahead by government.
Cllr George Adamson said:
“HS2 offers our District an opportunity for growth and development and we welcome the news that the proposals have been given the go-ahead.”
“These improved links through Birmingham offer the chance for additional
employment and investment in the region and are a potential boost for our local
“However these benefits can only be realised with a continued commitment to improving the Chase Line and local rail infrastructure and we will work to secure further guarantees on developing our connections to ensure our District can share in the advantages offered by HS2.”
Cannock Chase MP Aiden Burley is also backing the scheme, saying:
This is great news for Cannock Chase and a massive investment by the government in the economy of the West Midlands. This project will support 40,000 jobs in the first phase alone, provide a boost to growth and deal with growing congestion on our railways. Local businesses will be more closely linked to the engine room of the south east and have far quicker access to clients and markets in London.
However, not all groups are as supportive of the controversial HS2 scheme – local news site Lichfield Live have reported on Lichfield campaigners vowing to fight the scheme, while the Staffordsire Wildlife Trust have stated their concerns that the original appraisal for HS2 was heavily flawed, potentially causing devastation to local wildlife and wildlife habitats. It’s also been noted that the proposed line will cut through Whittington Heath – a 60 hectare (149 acre) lowland heath site situated in an ecologically significant area between Cannock Chase (designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) and Sutton Park.
Others have expressed their concerns of the reported ‘regional benefits’, believing most of the real benefit will go to London, while others still have raised issues over the costs involved, considering the slight increase in speed.
Concerningly, there have been further reports that the figures being touted in the economic benefits report for the project actually do not match with the figures appearing from government.