Preparations for work to begin are being made
Preparations for work to begin on the HS2 Cheshire leg are being put in place. The government project has now lodged a planning application with Cheshire East Council for a HS2 compound in the county.
The compound is a temporary structure on Old Hall Lane near the M6, and is to house working machinery for three years, the application has been put in by Atkins Limited.
The area would also be used to support a series of off-site ground investigations into the land which the proposed High Speed railways is going to be laid across, at various locations along the HS2 Phase 2b Crewe to Manchester route corridor.
The Site and the wider field that it sits within has been used most recently as a construction compound and materials storage area by National Highway’s contractors Sir Robert McAlpine (SRM) to support the construction of the nearby M6 Junction 19 Improvement Scheme.
A design and access statement, submitted as part of the application, says: “The location of the site has been carefully chosen to ensure its proximity to the route corridor of Phase 2b of HS2, with a view to minimising vehicular trips for plant and staff in connection with the proposed ground investigation works.
“The temporary nature of the proposed development means any potential impacts on the Green Belt will be temporary in duration.”
However, the series of ground investigations may have already been pre-empted by a protest group and an independent survey.
CheshireLive recently reported that key geological surveys of the Cheshire area had not been completed. The protest group Mid Cheshire Against HS2 says the Mid Cheshire region of Northwich, Winsford and Middlewich is dangerously unstable due to far-reaching salt mines that span the entire mid Cheshire region underground.
An Independent survey of the ground run by Rosalind Todhunter assessed that running the line through Cheshire over the salt district would be a very high hazard.
She said: “It is the opinion of the author that… HS2 Ltd have omitted to consult key documents and data and failed to take into consideration the ground conditions of the Cheshire Salt District which are classified as ‘Very High Hazard ‘by the British Geological Survey and as ‘High Risk’ by HS2 Ltd and in the independent ground engineering assessment reports, which are classified as ‘Very High Hazard ‘by the British Geological Survey and as ‘High Risk’ by HS2 Ltd and in the independent ground engineering assessment reports.”
“HS2 have therefore failed to carry out a thorough and comprehensive route assessment and selection procedure.”
- 05:40, 15 AUG 2022