England

HS2 East Midlands hub: Breaston option 'rejected in 2012'

St Chads church
Image caption Campaigners say the area has too many valuable features, such as St Chad's Church, to be a transport hub

An area which could become the East Midlands' HS2 hub was originally rejected, it has been revealed.

Despite Toton in Nottinghamshire at first being the preferred option, it emerged in October a site near Breaston, in Derbyshire, was under close scrutiny, prompting local dismay.

But in March 2012, a report rejected the area, with its green belt and flood plain, as too "sensitive".

HS2 said new options were different from those in the 2012 study.

An initial survey, based on engineering considerations, looked at 34 options for the new station, including Toyota in Burnaston and the Victoria Centre in Nottingham.

Image copyright Google
Image caption The centres of Toton, in Nottinghamshire, and Breaston, in Derbyshire, are only two miles apart

This was then evaluated by wider HS2 staff and existing rail sidings at Toton emerged as the strongest candidate.

But a review of the project, published in October, called for other options to be explored.

The Toton route includes an expensive tunnel underneath East Midlands Airport, something the Breaston hub would not require.

Breaston is also viewed as having better existing road and rail links.

But many in the area have said features in the area such as St Chad's Church and nature reserve, made it unsuitable.

Chris Corbett, the Conservative leader of Erewash Borough Council, said: "They looked at it in the early days. They saw the flood plain, they saw the green belt and decided it wasn't the right place for it and I hope they will do that again.

"It's worst for the people who live in Breaston, who have suddenly got this uncertainty, this blight that has appeared from nowhere."

A spokesman for HS2 said they did not want to comment on the situation and declined to reveal the exact location it was looking at - but insisted its options were different to those surveyed in 2012.

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