HS2’s plans for Balsall Common Viaduct submitted - The Solihull Observer

HS2’s plans for Balsall Common Viaduct submitted

Solihull Editorial 13th Feb, 2023   0

HS2’S plans for the Balsall Common Viaduct have been submitted to Solihull Council.

HS2’s main works contractor, Balfour Beatty VINCI (BBV), supported by a Design Joint Venture of Mott MacDonald and Systra together with architects Weston Williamson + Partners, have engaged with people in the local area over the last year to gather feedback on the viaduct – a 425-metre-long section of the UK’s new zero-carbon high speed rail line.

The plans include wet woodland planting using native species to the local area, mixed native woodland plants such as midland hawthorn and black poplar, and hedgerow planting to improve wildlife connections.

To improve connections, the Kenilworth Greenway will be extended to Station Road on the south-eastern side of the existing railway line and a further extension towards Lavender Hall is currently under consideration.

Options for cycling and bridleway extensions are also being considered.

HS2 Ltd’s Senior Project Manager for Balsall Common, Alan Payne said: “Over the last couple of years, we’ve worked closely with the community and local councillors to incorporate their feedback on Balsall Common Viaduct as much as possible.

“We’re confident that our plans respect and enhance the local history and natural environment of the area, and will provide new green areas for people and wildlife to enjoy.

“The HS2 project supports nearly 30,000 jobs – of which nearly 9,000 are employed in the West Midlands, with local businesses across the region benefitting from supply chain contracts. Once complete, HS2 will transform journeys across the UK, help boost the economy and provide extra capacity on the existing rail network.”

Shaun Ruffles, Landscape Architecture Director from HS2’s Design Joint Venture said: “The team have worked hard over the past 4 years to significantly improve on the hybrid Bill design to ensure that the environment and people using the area are at the heart of the design.

“The finalised design for the Balsall Common Viaduct has been driven by its context and responds directly to it.

“The concept of ‘reflect and reveal’ has been key to this, with views of the viaduct revealed and filtered by the mature oak trees in the wider historic landscape.”


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