Villagers joining forces to fight planned HS2 route under homes
AN action group will be formed by villagers from Strelley against proposals to run the proposed £32 billion High Speed Two rail line through the area.
More than 50 residents gathered at a public meeting on Thursday night in Strelley Hall to discuss a plan of action.
However opinion was split between campaigning for an alternate route, or opposing the plans all together.
The Government's preferred route straddles the M1, and, if chosen, would tunnel under the village, which includes several listed buildings and a conservation area.
It would also mean the demolition of the nearby Nottingham Business Park.
Richard Henshell, chairman of the meeting and centre manager at Strelley Hall, put forward a route which would save Nottingham Business Park.
Mr Henshell said: "The meeting gave a mixed reaction. Some want to oppose it completely, but others said it was inevitable and instead wanted to try and change the route – which hasn't been confirmed yet."
The alternative route originally proposed by HS2 would pass through the Erewash Valley, but critics say it could cause issues with flood plains, despite not causing any demolition of houses.
One resident, Denis Bird, spoke in favour of this route, saying official documents from HS2 stated that the M1 route was both more expensive and involved more demolitions – 29 houses – than the Erewash Valley route. But campaigner Drew Butler wanted to stop the project completely.
He said: "We're forgetting the force of people power.
"If we all pull together we can stop this. I think we are giving the project far too much credit. We also can't forget the people living on the Erewash Valley route. I, for one, wouldn't want to see those people in the same position as Strelley is now."
County councillor Philip Owen was at the meeting, and said he was opposed to the Government preferred route.
"Why the alternative [Erewash] route hasn't been chosen, I don't know," he said.
Councillor Owen also suggested that the newly formed action group look into proposing deeper tunneling that would avoid destroying buildings and mature trees in the building process.
Resident Keith Mountford, 65, added: "I'm not sure exactly why they dumped the Erewash route, other than the mention of flood plains."