Third Special Report of Session 2017–19 Contents

4Decisions of the Committee in relation to AP2

New Grid Supply Point

43.AP2 introduces a new Grid Supply Point connection at Parkgate in Staffordshire. HS2 told us that that this new proposal would meet the power supply requirements for Phase 2a and would also ensure resilience in National Grid’s overall supply to the local area.

44.Following our hearing on 26 March 2019 we requested further information from HS2 which we have published on our website.29

Power transmission

45.The change in AP2 introduces a new route for power transmission. The new proposal was developed in collaboration with National Grid which will design, build, operate and own both the supply and the infrastructure. This scheme would replace the proposal to use Rugeley Power sub-station as contained in the Bill.

46.Power to the railway will be delivered through an 7.7 km double run of 27 pairs of overhead electricity pylons 250–300 metres apart between Parkgate and the Newlands Auto Transformer Feeder station. This will connect to the National Electricity Transmission System to provide the power on which the HS2 trains will operate.30

47.HS2 Parkgate Steering Group, comprising of representatives from the local community and the local Parish Councils (Abbots Bromley Parish Council, Hoar Cross Parish Council and Newborough Parish Council) petitioned against the provisions contained in AP2 for the double pylon run and called on HS2 to explore alternative routes, or to install electricity transmission cables underground.

48.HS2 told us that it explored five potential core options for supply of power to the railway lines:

i)Option 1: the Bill Scheme, provision through Rugeley Power sub-station;

ii)Option 2: a 11.8 km long connection incorporating Rugeley Power sub-station to Newlands Lane as well as a 7.8 km electrical circuit from the national electricity transmission system near Handsacre;

iii)Option 3: a 4 km connection from Rugeley Power sub-station to Newlands Lane and a 9.7 km long connection from the national electricity transmission system near Kings Bromley;

iv)Option 4: 9.7 km connection taken from the national electricity transmission system near Kings Bromley;

v)Option 5: a 7.7 km connection taken from the national electricity transmission system at Parkgate.31

HS2’s map of options 1–5

49.On 23 April 2019 Mr Tim Smart, Chief Engineer, HS2, explained the five options and the challenges that they posed. He told us that Option 5 provides the strongest electrical connection which was the reason that it is HS2’s preferred option.32

50.Petitioners, including the HS2 Parkgate Steering Group and the NFU, argued that electricity cables should be placed underground. This view was supported by the West Midland Bird Club. HS2 argued that cables are at risk of overheating when placed underground and the advantage of over ground cabling is that air acts as a cooling agent. HS2 was also concerned about the effect of tree routes and the future maintenance and repair of cables which were sited underground, arguing that it would be more disruptive to the landowner and more costly to the public purse to provide an underground cabling network. HS2 cited the cost as being an additional £65 million pounds to the project if cables were to be sited underground.33 We asked for further information on these costings.

51.HS2 provided the following breakdown. The costs in the table below are ‘stated at base date Quarter 1 in 2015’.34 Notes accompanying the table below can be found at Annex C at the end of this Special Report.

HS2’s illustrative breakdown of costs35


Illustrative Parkgate GSP connection with overhead lines (£ million)

Illustrative alternative Parkgate GSP connection with underground cables (£ million)

Preliminaries and temporary works (see note 2)



Towers, foundations, and installation of towers



Trenching and containment



Purchase and installation of overhead cables



Purchase and installation of underground cables (joint bays inc. undertrenching and containment)



Parkgate to Newlands Lane cable connection



National Grid Substations (Parkgate and Newlands Lane combined)



Newlands Lane ATFS works



Environmental mitigation (see note 3)



Other associated utility diversions



Additional utility diversions allowance at highways



Indirect costs (see note 4)



Sub-total costs excluding Contingency:



Contingency (40%, see note 5)



Total costs including Contingency:



Total cost difference from Proposed Scheme



52.The NFU argued that if Option 5 with overground cables is selected as the preferred option by the Committee, then the proposed 240 metres wide corridor of land take for the erection of pylons should be narrowed to 60 metres, with limits of deviation of 30 metres on either side.36

53.HS2 told us that that landowners affected by the siting of pylons will be entitled to receive easement payments. These payments are calculated on a per tower (or pylon) basis depending on whether they are grassland or arable land: this is a one-off payment of between £6,000 - £8,000.37 Landowners will also receive compensation when taking possession of land and for loss of crops or loss of profits from crops as appropriate during that construction period. HS2 has confirmed that it will pay those occupiers and landowners affected by easements for the Parkgate proposal the industry standard rates, which will be negotiated between the Energy Network Association and the National Farmers Union and the Country and Business Landowners’ Association. Petitioner Angela Brown also raised this matter on 24 April 2019. HS2 has subsequently confirmed that the one-off capital sum payment is calculated using a multiplier of 20 in accordance with the industry standards. The industry base payment rate varies depending on what is sited and on what type of land and whether there is a single or joint occupier.

Power grid connection

54.AP2 proposes an auto-transformer feeder station near to Newlands Lane to provide traction power. Electricity is sent through the National Grid’s National Electricity Transmission High Voltage Transmission Grid (275/400kV). It is then transmitted to substations (Grid Supply Points) at 132kV per station. The HS2 infrastructure will connect with the grid through two Auto Transformer Feeder Stations of 25kV each, and these will supply the power to the railway line.38 Newlands Lane has been chosen as the best location to have the capacity to supply power for the railway to Crewe.

55.HS2 told the Committee that this change from using Rugeley Power substation to the proposed new scheme at Parkgate arose because National Grid had raised concerns that the proposals as set out in the Bill would not be sufficiently resilient to provide a reliable power supply from Rugeley power station to the railway and to customers within the area. National Grid need to be able to supply both. This was confirmed by HS2’s Chief Engineer, Mr Tim Smart.39

ATFS - Auto Transformer Feeder Station

56.We understand from HS2 that everything to the left of the dotted line above will be constructed, owned and operated by HS2, everything to the right of the dotted line will be constructed, owned and operated by National Grid.

57.Costs will fall to HS2 to the areas indicated above in blue (that which is required to power the railway) although all items will, at the end of the build, pass to National Grid ownership.

58.On our route visit we saw the proposed site for the Newlands Lane Auto Transformer Feeder station. This station is required whether the power supply is placed either overground or underground. The Auto Transformer Feeder Station will be sited in a valley and surrounded by tree planting in order to provide visual screening.

59.We accept that the proposal in AP2 for the siting of overground pylons between Parkgate and the Newland Auto Transformer Feeder station contained in AP2 is the best option for provision of electricity to the railway. The cost differential is £65m. Although the area is rural in nature, it is an undulating landscape and so the pylons would appear at differing heights and thus not make a huge impact on the landscape. However, we recognise that there will be a particular danger to birds from the nearby Blithfield reservoir and we refer to this matter in paragraph 70.

Common Lane and Crawley Lane

60.The development of works around Common Lane demonstrate the complexity of designing the necessary infrastructure support for building the railway. HS2 informed the Committee that the original Bill had proposed one solution, AP2 introduced a better solution, but with further negotiations between parties that another solution had been proposed. We outline this evolution of design below.

The Bill Scheme

61.The Bill Scheme proposes closing a section of the southern part of Common Lane where the Pyford North embankment will be built. An access track for agricultural vehicles would be provided from Common Lane (north-east of the HS2 route) following parallel to the line and to the north side of Pyford North embankment. It would then be routed south and pass beneath the Kings Bromley viaduct.

Map of the Bill Scheme

Changes to Common Lane proposed in AP2

62.AP2 makes provision for a new road to be built to the north-east of the HS2 route. The new road will connect Common Lane to the A515 Lichfield Road and replaces part of the access route and the bridleway around Pyford North embankment (part of the original Bill Scheme, see para 61 above). This new road will replace a short length of the existing A515 and provide a new road.

63.A new junction will be built from the Common Lane diversion. This will join the access track around the Pyford North embankment and link up to a bridleway along the south-east side of the Pyford North embankment providing access to the stopped up sections of Common Lane (south) as proposed in the Bill Scheme and is reproduced below.40

Map of the changes proposed in the AP2

New Proposal - Crawley Lane

64.HS2 told us that it had undertaken further work on the design and now proposed a different solution which is to create a route from the A515 to Crawley Lane and removes the need for Common Lane to be closed. This proposal falls outside the Bill limits and so would involves the purchase of additional land with the agreement of the affected landowner. On 9 May 2019 we heard a statement on behalf of the owners of the land (June Baskerville, Barbara Baskerville, Gordon Baskerville & Company41 and Richard Peter Boulton42) that “the petitioners support HS2’s “potential alternative to AP2” and that “June Baskerville, Barbara Baskerville and Gordon Baskerville and Company are willing to consider permitting the use of some of their land (between Crawley Lane and the A515) outside current Bill limits to facilitate a solution, subject to agreeing reasonable terms.”43

Map provided to Staffordshire County Council outlining the new proposal

65.The NFU had argued that the closure of Common Lane would adversely affect its members, and that the temporary closure for 18 months raised issues of traffic road safety as the construction traffic would be using Common Lane as well as local businesses and residents.

66.The new proposal would ensure that the local residents could continue to use Common Lane and that this proposal would avoid any additional heavy goods vehicle traffic being directed past the Richard Crosse Primary School. Staffordshire County Council and Lichfield District Council both support this option.44 HS2 argued that this new option was dependent on acquiring the necessary land in agreement with the landowner as well as the necessary approvals under highways legislation. HS2 admitted that there was a risk that should the land not be obtained by agreement that the Council would need to use its powers of compulsory purchase to enable the proposal. Staffordshire County Council argued that the Council must be indemnified by the Nominated Undertaker for all reasonable costs if it exercises its compulsory purchase order powers and that the Promoter should be responsible for obtaining and implementing such powers through the mechanism of an Additional Provision to the Bill or a Transport and General Works Order.

67.HS2 offered to meet “reasonable costs of the County Council pursuing the compulsory purchase procedure, if they consider it necessary”.45 HS2 had given a subsequent assurance to the County Council that the funding would be “up to £250,000”. The Council argued that this amount should not be capped.

68.We support the view of Staffordshire County Council that the Council must be indemnified by the Nominated Undertaker for all reasonable costs if the Council needs to exercise its compulsory purchase order powers so that the financial burden will not fall on local council tax payers.

69.We support HS2’s proposal for the new revised route, building a spur from Crawley Lane up to the A515 to avoid King’s Bromley village prior to the main construction work commencing, as this will provide an alternative solution for Common Lane while avoiding construction traffic passing in front of Kings Bromley school. This will accommodate many petitioners and local residents’ concerns.

Other decisions

West Midland Bird Club (No. AP2–59)

70.The West Midland Bird Club, which has 1,800 members, supported the underground option for provision of power at Parkgate. They argued that should the underground proposal not be possible, bird diverters should be installed on a 5km section of the pylon wires, ‘from Newlands Lane National Grid sub-station at least to Bentillee Cottage’46 in order that both migrating and non-migratory birds do not fly into the wires and are killed. The Club demonstrated that the proposed section of the pylons would run across a valley that was part of the birds who nested at the Blithfield Reservoir’s flight paths.

71.Counsel for HS2 estimated the cost of installation of bird protectors for the whole route at “approximately half a million pounds” and for the area suggested by the West Midlands Bird Club, “about £300,000 for that particular stretch of pylon wires.”47

72.We instruct HS2 to install bird protectors on the pylon wires across the valley sections between Newlands Lane National Grid sub-station and the Parkgate substation. HS2 should act on advice from the West Midland Bird Club on the most appropriate sections on which to install the protectors.

The Slater family (No. AP2–33)

73.HS2 must ensure that the height of the underbridge is 5.7 metres and the width 4–4.5 metres so as at to allow access for delivery vehicles to the farms.

Sian Froggatt (No. AP2–49)

74.HS2 should buy Norman’s Bungalow from Mr and Mrs Froggatt at the bungalow’s full unblighted market value. HS2 should ensure that the water supply pipe is installed in a way in which does not impact on the existing bluebell beds. HS2 must give an undertaking to Mr and Mrs Froggatt that no part of their land becomes a dumping area for soil. Local placement must be managed in a manner that does not affect Mr and Mrs Froggatt’s farm adversely.

Stone Town Council (No. AP2–47)

75.Stone Town Council pointed out the number of cyclists using the A34/A51 Stone Bypass and the additional danger presented by construction traffic on that junction. The main crossing point over the A51 is uncontrolled and will become significantly more dangerous when additional lanes are added. The Town Council said “the only designated pedestrian route is across the roundabout on the A51 arm, and this really provides access to and from the Cherryfields Stone Estate, a housing estate, on the north of the junction to gain access to Aston Village Hall, which is located about 200 metres to the south of the island”.48 We heard that this was the only crossing facility provided across the four arms of the roundabout. HS2 argued that there were two possible outcomes, to remove the crossing as it is little used, or provide a new crossing with traffic signals towards the east on the A51. We questioned whether the reason that the crossing was not greatly used at present was because it was so dangerous.49 We recommend that HS2 work with the Highways Authority and Stone Town Council to ensure that a safe, accessible and convenient means of crossing the A51 is provided at its junction with the A34.

Newcastle Road Residents (No. AP2–75)

76.A short length of Newcastle Road (A519) will be changed from a two lane road to a four lane road which will impact on the residents of Newcastle Road. We recognise the concerns of those living along this road and instruct HS2 to engage with the Highways Authority to propose a suitable crossing point which is acceptable to the local residents and as close as is safely possible to the existing junction and provide improvements to the existing pathway so that the community benefit.

Mr and Mrs Bloor (No. AP2–51)

77.HS2 should provide an access road to the construction compounds taking the site traffic50 as far away as possible from the petitioner’s property.

78.Mr and Mrs Bloor had applied for HS2 to purchase their property as they understood their property to be blighted by the proposals. Plans for the areas beside their properties were subsequently changed by HS2 and as a consequence HS2 rejected their claim. HS2 must revisit this application and make a reasonable proposal for Mr and Mrs Bloor to consider.

Ingestre Park Golf Club (No. AP2–25)

79.In our Second Special Report we directed HS2 to “come to a solution that allows the golf club to continue as a community asset.” This was supported by Ingestre and Tixall Parish Council who petitioned on AP2 and told us that they were concerned that the loss of golf playing facilities (the temporary reduction of holes) could result in the financial collapse of the golf club as members may choose to play golf elsewhere.

80.When hearing the original petition we heard challenges from both parties regarding the other’s estimates of costs. Ingestre Park Golf Club returned to petition against the proposal contained in AP2 (to purchase land adjacent to the existing golf course as a replacement for the land being taken by the Scheme and thus build a new course adjacent to the existing golf club). Ingestre Golf Club petitioned, once again, for a replacement course, clubhouse and carpark and demonstrated that they had found an alternative site in Tixall which would be suitable. The Parish Council was not in favour of the proposal from the Golf Club as the Golf Club’s proposed new site would impact on other residents within the Parish who were not supportive of this change. The Golf Club’s proposal raised a level of risk as it would depend upon the Club obtaining the land and obtaining planning permission. Ingestre with Tixall Parish Council were content with the proposal contained in AP2.

81.HS2 told us that the proposal contained in AP2 would cost £4.9m.51 The Golf Club said that HS2’s proposals in AP2 would cost £13m52 but that their option was cheaper. Ingestre Golf Club argued that it would cost £10.9million for their option but the net cost would be “£7.8 million on the new proposed course because the £3 million compensation would have to be deducted” from the overall compensation figure which they would receive. The figures provided by HS2 and Ingestre were not comparing like with like. Having evaluated the costings and taking into account the view of the Parish Council we agree that the proposals set out in AP2 will ensure that the golf course can continue as a community asset.

82.We understand that there will be a reduced number of holes for golfers to play for a 6 month period and we are also aware that the Golf Club is a source of local employment. Employees of the golf club, those working both full and part-time, must not be disadvantaged by the proposals contained in AP2. We therefore emphasise that the golf club is entitled to apply for compensation as part of the existing compensation packages, which would enable the golf club to continue to employ or pay compensation to all staff who are employed at present.

83.The Club could operate with nine holes for six months and with 18 holes before and after this period53 and perhaps offer attractive subsidised and reduced fees to golfers whilst the new course is created. The club was concerned that the realignment would reduce the visibility at the first Tee. Security cameras for this area could also form part of the Golf Club’s claim for compensation.

84.HS2 told us that the Secretary of State would be happy to support this way forward. We expect Ingestre Golf Club to work with HS2 to ensure that the proposals set out in AP2 are delivered for the local community and that the Golf Club maintain current levels of employment for all their staff.

Ingestre with Tixall Parish Council (No. AP2–21)

85.Residents of Ingestre will see an increase in construction traffic during the building of the railway as construction compounds will be sited at Trent North, Hanyards Lane and Ingestre Park. The Parish Council petitioned, on the grounds of road safety, for a new footpath alongside Ingestre Road54 so that pedestrians, those with pushchairs and wheelchair users would be safe travelling along this section of road. HS2 has given an assurance that a footpath will be provided and in Committee, gave a further assurance that the footpath could be extended westwards.55 We welcome this.

86.The Parish Council expressed concern about the proposal for the new site found by the Golf Club and as we have stated above we support the view of the Parish Council.

Graham Ward 2010 Discretionary Will Trust etc. (No. 40)

87.HS2 should take the land for the borrow pit on a temporary basis and not a permanent basis as is currently proposed. This should minimise the length of time that excavated material will be transported by road.

Cheshire Wildlife Trust (No. AP2–58)

88.We understand the Trust’s concern that the water vole habitat on Swill Brook and Half Moon Drain will be destroyed by the Scheme. There will be a permanent severance of the link between the two brooks as an inverted siphon will be placed in the Half Moon Drain blocking the existing link between two brooks. The Trust told us that this will impact on the breeding population of water voles. We direct HS2 to work with Cheshire Wildlife Trust and Natural England in order to ensure that there is no diminution of the water vole communities currently residing to the west of the West Coast Main Line and the East of the proposed HS2 line. If this should mean relocation of the water voles to a more suitable habitat then we have been assured by both parties that this will be done under licence from Natural England.

The Freightliner Group, Freightliner Group Ltd, Freightliner Ltd and Freightliner Heavy Haul Ltd (Nos. 116 and AP2–26 and 139 and AP2–27)

89.The proposed Scheme includes two spurs so that trains can transfer between the HS2 mainline and the existing West Coast Main Line. One will be towards Crewe and the other towards London.

90.These petitioners had two main requests: certainty that freight trains presently operating on the rail network would be able to continue to operate at the same capacity after 2026 (when HS2 trains on Phase 2a will begin to operate), and “a seat at the table when developing how the West Coast Main Line will be used in future after HS2”. The latter request would involve consultation on timetables in order that their industry could continue to operate, keeping current levels of goods and products moving across the country on the rail network and not be forced to lose business to road haulage.

91.The Committee understands and supports the better design of Handsacre Junction at AP2. But HS2 must be mindful to ensure that as detailed design progresses it includes plans to ensure, and gives an absolute commitment to the industry, that the capacity for freight train size and capability is maintained and improved.

SGB World Services (No. AP1–14)

92.We agree with HS2 that compensation payments should be no higher than the figures provided in the note to the Committee.56

30 23 April 2019, Q226

32 23 April 2019, Q62–114

33 23 April 2019, Q179

34 “Quarter” meaning one of the four periods of three months into which the financial year is divided (January until March, April until June, July until September, and October until December).

36 24 April 2019, Q42

37 24 April 2019, Q2

38 24 April 2019, P1175(3)

39 23 April 2019, Q66

40 P1257(8)

41 Petition Nos P2A-094 and AP2–082

42 Petition No. AP2–068

44 29 April 2019, Q35

45 29 April 2019, Q77

46 24 April 2019, Q355 and Q392

47 24 April 2019, Q392

48 7 May 2019, Q20

49 7 May 2019, Q156

50 There are two types of construction compounds, main construction compounds which act as strategic hubs for core project staff, and satellite compounds, which will generally be smaller and will be used as the base to manage specific works along a section of the route (Environmental Statement, p. 28).

51 8 May 2019, Q84 and P1475(6)

52 8 May 2019, Q73

53 8 May 2019, QQ253–254

54 Petitioner Evidence A472(5)

55 8 May 2019, Q226

Published: 7 June 2019