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HS2 will have a 'huge impact'' on Hale Barns, says councillor
THE planned high speed rail line from London to Manchester will have a massive impact on Hale Barns.
The Manchester Airport station on the HS2 network is earmarked for land at Davenport Green, on Hale Barns' doorstep, next to the Manchester Airport Marriott Hotel, on Hale Road.
From there, the line to Manchester will go through a tunnel for 7.5 miles to Ardwick.
Hale Barns councillor Patrick Myers said that while he was in favour of the £33bn rail link between London and Manchester, he wants a re-think on the proposals to lessen the impact on his ward.
The current draft – announced by the Government on Monday – could see lavish houses valued at £1m-plus on Hale Road and Hasty Lane demolished to make way for the line and Cllr Myers is also concerned about increased traffic congestion.
And Altrincham and Sale West MP Graham Brady is pressing for a meeting with transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin to discuss the proposals.
Cllr Myers told Messenger: "I am very concerned about this, it will have a major impact on Hale Barns.
"There could be a substantial number of houses demolished.
"Residents are very worried about this. A lady phoned me to say she had just put her house on the market and she was concerned this has blighted it.
"I am in favour of HS2 and think it will be great for the north west but it needs very careful thought about how it will impact on this area."
Under the scheme, which it is claimed will create 30,000 jobs in the region, the line will go from Warburton Green over the M56 to the planned Davenport Green station on the outskirts of Hale Barns.
The 250mph Manchester HS2 line is expected to open in 2032 and is set to slash journey times to London to just 68 minutes.
Speaking in the House of Commons, MP Mr Brady welcomed the proposals but stressed that the compensation for those affected should be imaginative and generous.
Speaking later he said: ‘"The transport secretary has made it clear that this is the first draft of the preferred route and he will take account of representations from the public about the detailed route and the compensation package for those whose properties or businesses will be affected.
"I will be seeking a meeting with Patrick McLoughlin and I would welcome hearing from residents or businesses with any concerns about the proposals."
Cllr Myers said there were options that could lessen the impact. Engineers could move the tunnel 500m further south, so the line went under Hale Barns with the station in deep cuttings..
Alternatively, they could move the station to land already earmarked for Manchester Airport's World Transport Hub, off Sunbank Lane, Ringway.
Charlie Cornish, the chief executive of MAG, the owners of Manchester Airport, welcomed the HS2 proposals. He said: “We believe it will bring major benefits to businesses and residents of the north west and allow greater access to the UK’s major airport outside London.
"Along with the city centre station, it will provide an additional boost to the economy of the region and help spread the benefits of the airport’s existing international connectivity further. We’re already the third largest UK airport and will soon begin construction of the country’s first Airport City and this is another sign of progress for Manchester and the north of England.”
Head of policy at the Forum of Private Business, Alex Jackman, said: “These are the kind of long-term decisions a government must make for the good of the country.
“The Government must now work to clearly communicate nationally the business case for such an important project, while locally demonstrating how such a project will bring economic benefits to the regions, rather than draining them towards London.”