HS2 withdraws objection to Chesterfield Canal restoration plans after agreement reached

High-speed rail company HS2 has agreed to withdraw its objection to plans submitted by Chesterfield Canal bosses – after an agreement between the two organistaions was reached.

Saturday, 6th February 2021, 7:00 am

Last year, Chesterfield Canal Trust (CCT) submitted a planning application to restore the rest of the waterway which falls within Chesterfield borough – a 1.6-mile section from Staveley to the edge of Renishaw.

But HS2 wrote to Chesterfield Borough Council to oppose CCT’s application – saying the two projects were ‘incompatible’.

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Members of Chesterfield Canal Trust. Picture taken before the pandemic.

HS2 said the water level in the canal would be too high to enable a bridge to be built to allow access to a planned maintenance depot on the old Staveley Works site.

Following negotiations, a CCT spokesperson said on Friday: “We have now come to an agreement which would give room for both the canal and the HS2 line to its proposed infrastructure maintenance depot, if and when that is realised.

“CCT is very pleased that HS2 has agreed to withdraw its objection to our planning application following our submission of this revised plan.

“We very much hope that the application will now be approved.

“We would like to thank our partners at the borough council, Derbyshire County Council, Toby Perkins MP and Lee Rowley MP for their support.”

The spokesperson said the trust was hoping to receive funding from the Government’s Towns Fund programme.

They added: “Should that come through, we should be able to get to get to work on restoring the remaining section of the canal to the borough boundary just short of Renishaw.”

A spokesperson for HS2 said: “We have worked closely with CCT to reach a solution which supports their restoration proposals and designs for the proposed HS2 line and infrastructure maintenance depot.

“We welcome their continued commitment to reaching an amicable solution.”

The Derbyshire Times reported last week that the National Infrastructure Commission has proposed terminating HS2 in Nottinghamshire as one of a series of options due to be considered by the Government.

If this option is approved, HS2 would miss areas including Chesterfield, Sheffield and Leeds.

Councillor Tricia Gilby, leader of the borough council, said: “It is vital that the eastern leg of HS2 is delivered in full and that delivery starts as soon as possible.”

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