Residents raise more concerns over potential impact of HS2 on Derbyshire village

HS2 public meeting at Newton Community Centre, pictured is Ruth Burrows
HS2 public meeting at Newton Community Centre, pictured is Ruth Burrows

Residents and community leaders have voiced more concerns over the potential impact of the HS2 high speed railway on a Derbyshire village.

Around 250 people attended a public meeting on Saturday at Newton Community Centre to hear the latest developments on the controversial high-speed rail network.

HS2 public meeting at Newton Community Centre

HS2 public meeting at Newton Community Centre

If it goes ahead, residents fear Newton will be ‘cut in two’ with up to 32 homes bulldozed.

Ruth Burrows, co-ordinator of the HS2 Blackwell Group, said: “It went incredibly well with about 250 villagers packing our community centre.

“The purpose of the meeting was to bring the villagers up to date on HS2 news collected by the group during the last three months and to put that to our MP and senior councillors at Derbyshire County Council and Bolsover District Council.”

The meeting was attended by Bolsover MP Dennis Skinner, cabinet member for transport and infrastructure at Derbyshire County Council, Simon Spencer, and leader of Bolsover District Council, Anne Syrett.

HS2 public meeting at Newton Community Centre, pictured is Dennis Skinner MP speaking at the meeting

HS2 public meeting at Newton Community Centre, pictured is Dennis Skinner MP speaking at the meeting

Issues discussed included findings from Freedom of Information requests over the consultation process, how the community feels it is being treated and the possible demolition of the 32 homes, among many other topics.

Ms Burrows added: “With the support of Dennis Skinner our aim is to get a meeting as soon as possible with the new parliamentary under secretary of state at the Department for Transport, Nusrat Ghani, where we can inform her of our findings.”

Speaking at the meeting, Mr Skinner, said: “When I first heard the cost, at something like £20bn to £30bn, which now remarkably is being talked about in terms of £100bn, I say to myself, as your Member of Parliament, could I spend that money in a different way? And the answer is yes, every time.”

A HS2 spokesman said: “HS2 will deliver major benefits to the East Midlands. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity to dramatically improve journeys between the Midlands and the North, and London, boosting capacity, improving connectivity and helping to rebalance the national economy. It is also becoming integral to local plans to drive business growth, create jobs and secure investment years before it arrives.

“We are at the very early stages of designing the route including its spur to Sheffield, and through our dedicated community engagement teams and information events we are committed to working with communities like Newton to identify appropriate solutions to further reduce impacts.”