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Impact on Chelmsley Wood was overlooked

NO homes in Solihull are nearer to the proposed HS2 line than those in Yorkminster Drive, Chelmsley Wood.

NO homes in Solihull are nearer to the proposed HS2 line than those in Yorkminster Drive, Chelmsley Wood.

At their closest, trains will pass less than 100 metres from the houses – a cause of concern for many local residents.

My walk began a short distance away, along the Chester Road, passing Birmingham Business Park.

Having pulled away from the NEC interchange, the trains will once again cut through fields and farmland.

As the line approaches Chelmsley Wood, it will cut through a sizeable section of Bluebell Recreation Ground.

For residents who already feel aggrieved about the loss of local parkland, this has been hugely controversial.

It’s at this point that carriages will rumble past Yorkminster Drive, and adjoining roads at high speed.

Paul Dudley, who has lived in the area 40 years, said homes were already blighted by the proposals.

“I have major worries about the compensation scheme they’re talking about,” he says.

“For this area it’s been one thing after another, first the M6, then the M42, now this.

“It’s as if they won’t be happy until they’ve concreted every inch of land between here and Coleshill.”

Compared to the Tory heartland I’ve passed through in previous weeks, this area is a battleground between Labour and the Greens.

Both parties agree that the impact on Chelmsley Wood has been overlooked since the route was announced last year.

Aside from the noise and loss of parkland, there are also concerns that a high-pressure fuel pipeline, serving the airport, will have to be moved.

As trains move away from the housing estate, they will pass over another viaduct, spanning the M6.

And there is growing anger among local communities, who feel that their views are not being represented by local politicians. Solihull Council voted to give conditional support, while Meriden MP Caroline Spelman is in favour of the scheme.

One thing’s for certain, this is a row that’s going to rage on around the borough for many years to come.



Cathrina Hulse
Multimedia Journalist
Annette Belcher
Multimedia Journalist
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