NEW maps of the HS2 route indicate the rail-line will not pass as close to Chelmsley Wood residents as originally feared.
The original plans would have seen the tracks pass within 100 metres of homes in Yorkminster Drive and a large swathe of the Bluebell Recreation Ground removed as part of the scheme.
But latest information, presented to councillors this week, suggests that the line has been shifted further east, putting a greater distance between homes and avoiding the community space.
Councillor Nick Stephens (Lab, Chelmsley Wood) said that the change was welcome news - no homes in Solihull were closer to the line in the original plans.
“This will still undoubtedly affect residents,” he said. “But moving the line away from the houses is something we’ve been pressing for.
“It is frustrating though that council officers have had to work this out from maps. It’s not something that has been announced or made clear by HS2.”
Fellow ward councillor Chris Williams (Green) described the news as “the first positive change” to the route through Solihull.
“The line now no longer goes through Bluebell Recreation Ground but is straighter overall. This means the train speed will be higher and that is of concern as the noise will be greater.
“These are only draft proposals so they could change again but it’s progress in the right direction.”
The fine details are likely to be discussed at a rearranged meeting between Solihull Council and the Transport Secretary on November 27.
l More on HS2 on page 12.