Rail Link Countryside Initiative - Warwickshire County Council

Report
HS1 – Kent’s Experience
Legacy not Liability
Presentation to HS2 Community Benefit Seminar
Warwickshire County Council
20 March 2013
Overview
• The starting point
• Shaping the Legacy
• The ‘Kent Tests’
• Influencing and mitigation
• Petitions … undertakings and assurances
• Rail Link Countryside Initiative (RLCI)
• Final Thoughts
The Starting Point
Kent CC took a strategic role which
supported the principle of the rail link
Worked in partnership with stakeholders
to secure the best possible terms for the
people of Kent
It sought to maximise the economic
benefits and minimise the environmental
impacts
The Starting Point
International and Domestic Rail Service
including 2 domestic stations
Improved journey times to London and
changed commuter patterns
Biggest Archaeological Project in Europe
Shaping the Legacy
The 6 Key Tests
Influence
Project and
Processes
Parliamentary
Role
Communication
and
Engagement
Environmental
Mitigation
Environmental
Legacy
The Kent Tests - did the scheme:
provide the best provision for
International passenger services?
provide the best opportunities for
improved domestic services?
provide the greatest capacity for the
transfer of freight from road to rail?
The Kent Tests - did the scheme:
support the approved Kent Structure Plan
and Regional Strategies?
Minimise the environmental impact upon
communities and countryside?
Best serve the Country’s interest in terms
of forming part of the European High
Speed Networks
Influencing the Big Picture
Environmental
Impact
• was minimised by a
Special Planning
Regime
• set out principles
and over-arching
framework
Played a key role
in shaping this
Planning Regime
• pre and post
Parliamentary stage
• directly and with
other stakeholders
Influencing the Big Picture
Environmental
Minimum
Requirements
Stakeholder
Groups
• Code of Construction
Practice
• Environmental
Management Strategy
• Planning Memorandum
• Heritage Deed
• Spoil Disposal Strategy
• Planning Forum,
• High Level Forum
• Environment Forum
Petitions…Undertakings and Assurances
Petitioned in both the
House of Parliament
Took a strategic stance to
influence the character of the
route
Kent Districts argued more
local concerns supported by
the Parish Councils and local
community groups
Worked closely with
others to minimise
duplication and strengthen
individual cases
Some 70 undertakings and
assurances on wide range
of issues
Mitigation Details – A flavour ...
60% alignment
along existing
transport
corridors
Sought to limit
impacts on
settlements and
landscape
25km in Tunnels
Lowering of the
alignment (i.e.
Boxley Valley)
Translocation of
ancient
woodland soils –
25ha
Habitat
compensation,
‘green bridges’
230ha woodland
Relocation of
Listed buildings
Timely restoration of
construction sites
Mitigation Details – A flavour ...
Vertical
deviation
limited
99% surplus
material used in
mitigation
earthworks
Earthworks –
screening and
farming role
Extensive
landscaping –
1.2million trees
Acoustic
barriers in early
Rail Link Countryside Initiative and CAMs
Rail Link Countryside Initiative
Rail Link Countryside
Initiative was agreed
during the Parliamentary
hearings
in addition to mitigation
works and was a form of
local ‘compensation’ for
hosting the railway
It was a £2 million legacy
fund for projects within
the wider rail link corridor
– some 2km wide
Available to groups or
individuals and could
complement existing
funding streams
Rail Link Countryside Initiative
Purpose:
• was to ‘promote, support, co-ordinate
and encourage projects that enhance
and where appropriate improve
access to, the landscape, ecology and
heritage of the area affected by the
development or operation of HS1’
Rail Link Countryside Initiative
Established as an
independent company and
registered as a charity in
1995 – launched 1999 –
closed 2009
Between 1999 - 2008 –
total grants awarded of
£1.75m with a gearing of
nearly 4 on the initial
investment.
In 2008, £155k
committed on 25
projects with a project
value of £309k excluding
volunteer costs. Grants
typically used for project
development, match
funding and small scale
projects.
Rail Link Countryside Initiative
Unique fund and
management process
Pro-active and reactive –
made excellent use of
existing networks, working
with other agencies, local
communities, private
landowners and schools
Provided opportunity
for environmental
enhancement within
the vicinity of HS1 focus on local groups
benefitting with
funding geared to
locally generated
projects
Rail Link Countryside Initiative
Provided range of
support – financial,
intellectual, co-ordinating
and match making,
putting similar projects in
contact with each other,
and working with other
funding bodies, targeting
projects for grant aid and
match funding
Rail Link Countryside Initiative
To avoid liabilities for participating parties, RLCI
was constituted as a company limited by
guarantee with a 2-tier governing structure • The Company with a Director from URL and a Director from
each of the participating organisations – minimum of 4 and
max of 6 with the opportunity to co-opt Directors from outside
of partner organisations (HAD 4)
• A Policy Advisory Group (PAG) with representatives of all
participating organisations (Steering Group)
• Executive Committee from PAG members – day to day and
delegated powers to decide range of grant applications
Rail Link Countryside Initiative
• Initiative administered by Board of
Trustees with advice from the Steering
Group represented by Union Railways,
Kent CC, Wildlife Trusts, English Nature,
Environment Agency, English Heritage,
LB Thurrock and Countryside
Commission and Farming and Wildlife
Advisory Group
• Director - based at Gravesham BC
Rail Link Countryside Initiative
Pond
restoration
(£3k)
Wildlife
Gardens (£6k)
Enhancement
of SAC (£5k)
New landscape and
wildlife corridor Maidenlane(£5k)
Hedgerow
Creation
(£500)
Site
enhancement
Heaths Corridor
(£17k)
Lime Kiln
Access – signs
(£2k)
Heritage Art
Project £5k)
Interpretation
plans for Country
Park (18k)
Toad
Conservation
Project (£11k)
Cherry Downs
Access (£3k)
Green Activity
Programme
(£2k)
Multi-user
access trail
(£5k)
Survey for
enhancement
work (£800)
Wildlife & Landscape
Enhancement Project –
Quarrington Farm (£12k)
Rail Link Countryside Initiative
Ashenbank
Wood Ride
Widening (£3k)
Highfield
Conservation
£5k
Improved
playing field
(£2k)
Bowley Farm Mill
Pond Restoration –
dredging and
clearance £35k
Improvements
to Thames Chase
Community
Forest
2000 trees
Heath Farm
Shorne Wood
Visitor Centre
Kent AONB –
improved
access
Singleton
Environment
Centre
Re-location of
listed Victorian
gothic water tower
as part of a £900k
project
Rainham
Marshes RSPB
nature reserve
Cobham Ashenbank Management Scheme
A 5 year countryside
management scheme to
provide compensatory
measures for the effects of
HS1 on historic Cobham Park.
Involved 2 local councils,
English Heritage, Natural
England, National Trust,
Cobham Hall, Woodland Trust
and Union Railways
 Key objective was the
restoration and
management of Darnley
Mausoleum and historic
Cobham Park
 £150k pa – 1997 -2001
 Had same Director as RLCI
 Seed funding for heritage
project £750k which levered
in £10m of funding for
restoration of Cobham Park
– buildings, access and
woodland enhancement
Legacy of another kind
What I might do differently …
• Seek dispensation from
Highway Design Code
for the realignment of
rural lanes
Legacy of another kind …..
A home for
heritage finds
Legacy of another kind
what I might do differently …..
• Seek commitment for
long term monitoring of
environmental effects
• Planting – drainage
implications and aftercare
arrangements
• Procedure for temporary
road closures – financial
penalties?
• Tourism potential and
design
• Long term safeguarding
& de-designation of lost
assets
• Awareness of gantries
much earlier in the
process
• Impact upon highways –
physical and ££
Final Thoughts
Strength in shared views
Take full advantage of
chance to influence
project in early phases.
Post Act influence is
much more limited and
akin to reserved matters
on a planning application
Deemed consents
Final Thoughts
• Effective community liaison
• Staff continuity if possible –
work together to achieve
common objectives
• Balance gain vs. pain
• Pick your battles carefully
• 1996 Act never dies
• Be mindful of changes to the
scheme – particularly those as
detailed design emerges
• Parliamentary Undertakings
and Assurances are not the
same
• Use technical experts that can
communicate in simple
language
• Think early about construction
routes
….Plan for the Long Haul
HS1 first raised
by BRB in 1988
House of
Commons
1993/4
House of Lords
1996
Royal Assent
December 1996
Section 1 opens
2003
Section 2 opens
2007
Still dealing
with Heritage
aspects in 2012
And Last but not Least ….
Think creatively – usually more than
one way to solve a problem
Be brave and a little bit cheeky
Good Luck
Thank You
[email protected]
01622 696052

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