Over 2,000 jobs would be created with new proposal.
Birmingham MP Liam Byrne has welcomed Minister Robert Goodwill’s offer to meet with him and HS2 officials to discuss their plans for Washwood Heath. The news has been hailed as a breakthrough in the battle for jobs at the LDV-Alstom site earmarked for a marshalling yard.
Late last year the HS2 Bill committee ordered HS2 Ltd to work with the site owners at Washwood Heath to adapt their plans in order to maximise the number of jobs on the site. After months of intransigence from HS2 over their plans for the site Liam Byrne has today secured assurances from the Minister Robert Goodwill MP that land take will be minimised and that he will meet with the Hodge Hill MP and HS2 officials to find a way forward.
The proposed Washwood Heath site is the size of 100 football pitches and makes up one third of the industrial land in Birmingham. It lies at the junction of Ladywood, Erdington and Hodge Hill – these three constituencies are together home to 45% of the City’s unemployed. The site owners have now submitted a ‘Plan B’ proposal that would see 2,334 jobs be created.
Speaking after the debate Liam Byrne MP said: “I was pleased to receive an assurance from the Minister this afternoon that he will ensure that HS2 work with the landowners at the Washwood Heath site to find a way forward. I will be writing to him this evening taking up his offer to convene a meeting between himself and officials to discuss this matter further.
“We cannot waste any more time. Our area needs the vital jobs that could be created on that site. HS2 Ltd must adapt their plans to ensure that as many jobs as possible are created at Washwood Heath, as quickly as possible.”