COUNCIL chiefs are urging the Government to take another look at the environmental impact HS2 will have in Cheshire if revised plans north of Crewe are adopted.

Plans were released by the Department for Transport last autumn for a new ‘Crewe northern connection’ which would allow more services to stop at the town.

But it would also mean a doubling of tracks through mid Cheshire’s countryside, and a larger depot being built in Wimboldsley for the required maintenance facilities.

Cheshire East Council has now published its response to a consultation on those plans – and while it welcomes the additional services for Crewe, it is urging the Government to seek ‘the maximum level of mitigation’ for mid Cheshire’s environment.

Cllr Craig Browne, deputy leader, said: “The council welcomes and supports the introduction of the Crewe northern connection rail junction into the proposed design for HS2.

“We see this as being an essential element in delivering our vision for the Crewe hub station. We also welcome the employment opportunities that the rolling stock depot and maintenance facility will bring.

“However, we continue to seek to limit the disruption of the new railway line and we are actively seeking to secure the maximum level of mitigation from the scheme.

“We have therefore requested in our response to government that a revised HS2 Phase 2B Environmental Statement is produced to take into account the proposed design refinements, so that a full and comprehensive assessment of the impacts and mitigation required can be made.

“We have also reiterated our request that those in Cheshire East who are impacted by the scheme are kept regularly informed and engaged by HS2 to ensure their voices are heard and that they have a clear mechanism for raising any concerns.”

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The council will now await government feedback on the consultation, as the scheme moves towards the deposit of the Phase 2b hybrid bill.

Graham Dellow, vice-chairman of Mid Cheshire Against HS2, slammed the plans were they were unveiled last autumn.

He told the Guardian: “It's just rubbish, to be honest. The whole thing is just awful.

"The depot is in the wrong place anyway – it should be nearer to Crewe – and then they have the audacity to make it even bigger.”