City bosses have won a series of major concessions from government to ensure Birmingham gets the best deal possible from High Speed 2, it has been announced.
The city council, along with transport authority Centro, raised six major concerns over the development of the high-speed rail line - including the design and layout of the Curzon Street Station, possible closure of Saltley Viaduct, the new rail maintenance depot and the loss of parks and open space.
And now the Government has come back and agreed to all of Birmingham's requests.
Waheed Nazir, the city's director of planning and regeneration, and his staff were praised by the council's planning committee for securing 'an excellent result' for the city.
The agreement includes:
• The city council, Centro and HS2 company setting up a design panel which will act in public to oversee and advise on the planning the Curzon Street Station
• The Midland Metro extension from Snow Hill to Digbeth, which recently secured £130m government funding, to have a stop within the HS2 station
• To minimise and mitigate against the closure of Saltley Viaduct during construction
• Compensate Birmingham City Council for the loss of the waste recycling facility at Tameside Drive
• For HS2 to replace or fund replacement of lost open space and business relocations as a result of construction
Mr Nazir said they had received legal assurances which now could not be easily overturned by any future government or Secretary of State for Transport.
Committee member Coun Peter Douglas Osborn (Cons, Weoley) said this was a major achievement for Birmingham and he urged speed of development.
He added: "The sooner they get this development on track the better. We have been talking about it for so long already."
Coun Bob Beauchamp (Cons, Erdington) added: "This is the best news I have heard since I have been on this committee."
The agreement means that the city council has withdrawn from giving evidence to a Parliamentary select committee hearing petitions on HS2.
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