Plans to move the proposed high speed rail route from London to Birmingham away from picturesque Midland villages could see it cut through the National Agricultural Centre at Stoneleigh Park, it has been claimed.
The Warwickshire village of Stoneleigh was granted a reprieve last week when the proposed line was moved away from homes.
But it is feared that the National Agricultural Centre may now stand in the path of the £30 billion high speed track.
The line was re-drawn after talks between MPs and the Department for Transport, which is keen to avoid a lengthy battle with pressure groups.
Stoneleigh is one of the foremost equestrian centres in the country and is set to be a training and acclimatisation centre for both equestrian competitors and athletes in the 2012 Olympics
The Department for Transport will not release detailed maps of the changes for another fortnight, but campaigners said they were still opposed to the high speed link and remained unconvinced about the Government’s projected passenger figures and claimed economic benefits.
Convenor of the Stop HS2 national campaign group, Joe Rukin, claimed: “HS2 Ltd is making no sense.
“It has said it is moving the line away from population centres, but in Warwickshire it has taken it away from villages and moved it closer to towns.
“On top of that, it has stuck the line through the NAC, which is a major player in the local economy, with many businesses based there.
“Apparently, it also seems to be going toward the industrial estate in Southam, the main source of jobs in that town.
“HS2 will also destroy any Olympic legacy in the area, as the equestrian centre at the NAC is exactly where it would go.
“It says it will be fine with a cut and cover tunnel, but that will mean digging the whole thing up and will take seven years to build.
“The Polo Grounds in Southam were also going to be used and if the line is getting closer to Southam as stated, it will have to go through that too. It was originally just across the road.”
“Tinkering with the route is no use at all, if you move it, some will win and some will lose. We have always believed since the first time we looked into the plans for HS2 that there is no business case, no environmental case and no money to pay for it. We will fight the whole idea all the way.”
Steve Lloyd, finance director at Stoneleigh Park, said: “We only know what has been published.
“These are just proposals at the moment. The map is not at all precise and until we receive more detail we cannot comment on this issue.”
A Department for Transport report said great care had been taken to try and avoid cutting a swathe through historic farmland at Stoneleigh.
Attempts were made to re-route the track past Burton Green but that risked moving it closer to residential properties at Balsall Common.
Instead, it has been decided that the route would be covered by a tunnel beneath an old railway cutting but some nearby homes may still be at threat.
The proposed railway line had also been altered to pass to the north of Ladbroke in a cutting 600 metres away from homes, instead of thundering over a four-kilometre long viaduct within 150 metres of the historic Warwickshire village.