I am today publishing additional Safeguarding Directions for the High Speed Two (HS2) railway for the West Midlands to Leeds (known as the Phase 2b Eastern Leg) section of the HS2 route to reflect the latest design of the HS2 railway. Please note that the final design of the HS2 Phase 2b Eastern Leg and its integration with Northern Powerhouse Rail will be determined by the Government’s Integrated Rail Plan, that I aim to publish early this year.
The latest Safeguarding update includes a site east of Leeds. The site required by the HS2 rail project would support the potential integration between HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail.
The developer of the site has been made aware of the Safeguarding Directions prior to their publication as has the local planning authority, Leeds City Council. By protecting the site now, the Government guards against potentially conflicting development, which could otherwise disrupt the construction of HS2, as well as the risk of increased costs of building the new railway. This protects the public’s interest in spending taxpayer money in a proportionate fashion.
The Government periodically reviews land requirements needed for the project and updates the extent of Safeguarding accordingly. It is anticipated that the land requirements for Phase 2b of HS2 for the Crewe to Manchester (known as the Phase 2b Western Leg) section of the route will be updated prior to the deposit of the relevant hybrid Bill.
A copy of the Safeguarding Directions will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses for record, and are publicly accessible online.