HS2 told 'stay off our land' by town council

South Kirkby protesters
South Kirkby protesters

South Kirkby’s town council has refused to allow HS2 onto its land to conduct surveys, the Express understands.

Last month councillors said they would no longer co-operate with HS2 Ltd and cemented their opposition to the rail scheme in a meeting.

Now HS2 has been told it is not allowed to conduct ecological surveys on land that belongs to the council.

Concerns have been raised behind the scenes about what further plans could be in the pipeline after HS2 asked to conduct surveys on land a mile from where the proposed route currently stands, including around Common Road at the south of the town.

It is understood the company could return with a government order that would force the local authority to allow access HS2 officials access.

Some ecological surveys were allowed to go ahead last year before the town council’s official opposition to the project had been confirmed.

South Kirkby, Brierly, Hemsworth, Kinsley, Newstead, Fitzwilliam, New Crofton, Foulby, Crofton, Sharlston, Sharlston Common and New Sharlston are all likely to be affected by the scheme.

Meanwhile Wakefield’s two political parties have strongly condemned HS2 in a rare display of cross-chamber unity.

Councillors unanimously voted in favour of a motion at a full council meeting that restated the authority’s opposition to the project.

The council’s transport portfolio holder Matthew Morley said: “Will it benefit the people of Featherstone, Pontefract, Outwood, Normanton who currently suffer from bad trains? No it won’t, it will be the business and banking executives.”

Conservative group leader Coun Nadeem Ahmed said: “It’s a waste of space, a waste of time, a waste of money and no-one should be supporting anything to do with it.

“I think it’s a load of rubbish.”

HS2 Ltd has been approached for comment.