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HS2

For some time your board have been in consultation with High Speed 2 Rail as the initial route took the twin tracks beneath the course. This, as you know, meant the design relied upon building a series of vent shafts and head houses towards the end of our 2ndhole.

This would have meant losing some of the 1st, 2ndand 3rdholes as access would be required off Palatine Road. The board has been working with HS2for 2 years and had a preferred option that had minimal impact upon the golf course but would affect the clubhouse. 

We were assured that the club would be compensated for disruption and that funds would be available to rebuild our facilities once the scheme had been authorised. It doesn’t go to Parliament until February next year. 

AT THE PRESENT THIS IS IN CONSULTATION MODE
The Government has released a comprehensive consultation document some of which I have included in this email.
 
HS2: Phase 2b – Design Refinement Consultation
Description of the proposed change
 
Figure 3: Plan showing the current design and proposed relocation of the vent shaft. For more detail see change one in Volume 2: Map book and visualisations.

2.1.18 After reviewing the horizontal alignment of the Manchester tunnel the Secretary of State is minded to move the vent shaft, headhouse and autotransformer station further south-west within Withington Golf Course, closer to Palatine Road.

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High Speed 2: Phase 2b – Design Refinement Consultation
2.1.19 This location would move the vent shaft, headhouse and autotransformer station as far as practicable from the Didsbury Flood Storage Basin and, of the options investigated, would result in the least land being lost from the Flood Storage Basin. As a consequence, this would require the least amount of additional land to be taken in the immediate vicinity to re-provide flood storage capacity. As the vent shaft and associated construction compound would be closer to Palatine Road than the current design, it does not require an access road to be built across Withington Golf Course and helps in reducing land take from the Flood Storage Basin and provides more convenient access during the construction and operational phases. 

2.1.20 The proposed change is preferred to the current design by the Environment Agency and moves construction works further away from Ashfield Lodge. 

2.1.21 The proposed change is, however, likely to require the demolition of the club house at Withington Golf Course and the loss of most of the car park to enable construction of the vent shaft, autotransformer station and headhouse. Part of the 18th hole at the course would also be permanently required for the headhouse building. 

2.1.22 Although the proposed change significantly reduces the amount of land required in the Flood Storage Basin compared to the current design, it still encroaches slightly and would require replacement flood storage capacity within Withington Golf Course, as well as replacement flood capacity on the adjacent Didsbury Golf Course. This would lead to the temporary loss of four holes on Didsbury Golf Course during work required to lower the existing ground level to create the replacement flood storage capacity. Further work is required with both Didsbury and Withington Golf Clubs to establish how the golf courses could be remodelled to accommodate the construction and operational phase impacts. 

2.1.23 The Secretary of State recognises the proposed change leaves an impact on both Withington and Didsbury Golf Clubs. The Secretary of State expects HS2 Ltd to continue to engage with both Clubs and the Environment Agency on whether these residual impacts on the golf courses’ operations can be avoided or reduced. 

Why the Secretary of State is minded to make this change 2.1.24 In order to reduce the impact on the Didsbury Flood Storage Basin and the volume of replacement flood storage capacity required, the Secretary of State is minded to relocate the Palatine Road vent shaft, headhouse and autotransformer station to the identified alternative site within the Withington Golf Course, closer to Palatine Road. 
Question: What are your views on the proposal to relocate the vent shaft, headhouse and autotransformer station within Withington Golf Course, moving it closer to Palatine Road? 

Please indicate whether or not you support the proposed change, together with your reasons.

 

 
The Board are due to meet with the HS2 team on 18thJune to discuss details, likely start dates and gain some assurances regarding funding. We will be appointing professional help from Roger Hannah & Co to support the club through the next couple of years, if the scheme gets funded. They have significant experience dealing with this type of issue.
 
The Board initially were asked to sign a Non Disclosure Agreement with HS2 and as such we were unable to discuss this potential change until verified by the Secretary of State.
We will produce an up to date series of documents and maps and drawings to ensure all members are aware of the proposals.

At this stage the Board supports the change in location of the building works, as it develops a brand new facility for members that would need to be ready for occupation before the HS2 works commence.
Please discuss with any member of the Board, if and when things progress we will ensure everyone gets all the information available as soon as possible.
 
Regards
 
Tex McIvor
Chairman 
Withington Golf Club

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