A FOUR kilometre-long HS2 depot will be built just south of Winsford and Middlewich, under proposed changes to the route near Crewe.

The rolling stock depot (RSD), which would be used for maintenance, servicing and storage of the new HS2 fleet, was previously set to be built in Golborne, between Warrington and Wigan.

One of seven proposed HS2 ‘refinements’ detailed in a government report, the depot – with an eastern boundary of around four kilometres – would be sited in Wimboldsley, between the West Coast Main Line (WCML) and the new tracks.

The plans also suggest a 16m-tall viaduct near Clive Green Lane to provide access to the north of the depot, while five properties would be demolished between the WCML and HS2 mainline.

Antoinette Sandbach, MP for Eddisbury, has called a public meeting on December 17 to enable residents to take part in a consultation, which runs through to March.

Of particular concern to Antoinette is the news that a route refinement could see tracks placed directly above Winsford salt mine, which could bring problems for mining company Compass Minerals.

Antoinette said: “The new route announcement on HS2 is a mixed blessing for the residents of Eddisbury.

“The news that Crewe will have a hub station will benefit the vast majority of my constituents, however many others who will be greatly affected by the new route will be absolutely devastated.

“Residents will need time to work through the full impact of the new proposals.

“The proposed railway is going to industrialise a large part of a currently peaceful rural area and I will work with those constituents who are affected by these proposals in order to help them make the most of the consultation process and deal with the inevitable blight that will now affect their properties.”

Chris Grayling, transport secretary, added: “The full HS2 route will be a game-changer for the country that will slash journey times and perhaps most importantly give rail passengers on the existing network thousands of extra seats every day.

“They represent the greatest upgrade to our railway in living memory.

But while it will bring significant benefits, I recognise the difficulties faced by communities along the route.

“They will be treated with fairness, compassion and respect and, as with phase one, we intend to introduce further compensation which goes over and above what is required by law.

Stanthorne and Wimboldsley Civil Parish told the Guardian it was due to discuss the matter in its next meeting, after Christmas.