HS2 opposes major plans to restore stretch of Chesterfield Canal

HS2 chiefs have opposed major plans to restore a key stretch of the Chesterfield Canal.

Tuesday, 1st September 2020, 12:30 pm

A planning application for the restoration of the remainder of the waterway which falls within Chesterfield borough – a 1.6-mile section from Staveley to the edge of Renishaw – has been submitted by the Chesterfield Canal Trust (CCT).

Now, HS2 has written to Chesterfield Borough Council to oppose CCT’s planning application – saying the proposals are ‘currently incompatible’.

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Members of Chesterfield Canal Trust.

Both the trust and HS2 say they will work together to try and reach a solution.

The trust has fought a long battle with HS2 bosses over the planned route of the high-speed train line.

A branch line to serve a maintenance depot on the old Staveley Works site is proposed to cross the route of the canal close to Hollingwood – at the start of the section covered in the planning application.

However, HS2 believes the water level in the canal would be too high to enable a bridge to be built to allow access to the planned maintenance depot.

A spokesperson for the trust said: “CCT is very disappointed that HS2 has objected to the trust’s application for planning permission to restore the remaining 1.6 miles of canal within the Chesterfield borough boundary.

“The trust is confident that the design for the restored Chesterfield Canal and the proposed HS2 rail line are compatible and can co-exist and that after further technical discussions with HS2 Ltd their objection can be removed.

“The trust is still focussed on achieving its stated aim of completing the canal’s restoration by its 250th anniversary in 2027.”

A HS2 spokesperson added: “We will continue to work closely with the trust and local planning authorities to identify a mutually agreeable solution for the canal and HS2 crossing point at Staveley.

“HS2 has developed an alternative design proposal, which meets with the safeguarding directions in place, and supports the restoration aspirations and protects against potential flood risks.

“We welcome the opportunity for further discussions on this proposal.”

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