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Monday, 4 November 2019

HS2: Oakervee Petition and Burton Green Tunnel Survey

Petition for Immediate Publication of Oakervee Report

You may be aware that the conclusions of the Oakervee review into HS2 have been completed but are being kept secret, and will not be made public until after the General Election.

Extract: "Boris Johnson has postponed a decision on whether to scrap High Speed 2, until after the election. Lord Berkeley, who was deputy chairman of the panel commissioned by the Prime Minister to review the scheme, said their report was now due to be "locked into the Department for Transport vaults" and published by the next Government."

There is a public petition asking for the report to be made public now.  That petition is here:

Survey of Views about Burton Green Tunnel

Following on from the recent drop in sessions regarding The Burton Green Tunnel design, there is an overview of the proposals and additional information sheets here:

There is also an online survey which is open until 11pm on 18th November and which can be comleted here:

Those who attended the drop in may have completed a paper copy of the survey and we do encourage everyone to complete the survey so that their views are made known. Once the results are collated they will be presented to the community.  This feedback will be combined with information previously gathered as part of The Neighbourhood Plan.


Drop In Events During October

During October HS2 will be hosting two events in the area. These events will allow residents to find out more about the design of the Burton Green ‘cut and cover’ tunnel and provide feedback on the design to HS2:
  • Saturday 26th October 2019, 12pm – 4pm, Burton Green Village Hall
  • Monday 28th October 2019, 5pm – 8pm, Burton Green Village Hall, Hodgetts Lane
If you cannot attend either of these events you will still be able to see details of the design and share your views with us on Commonplace, as we will be publishing the information online later this month.

If you have any questions about HS2 or our works, please contact our HS2 Helpdesk team on 08081 434 434 or email hs2enquiries@hs2.org.uk.


Residents may also be interested in this report from The Sunday Telegraph, 13th October, which includes some references to Dr Paul Thornton, of Cromwell Lane...


"The government-owned firm behind HS2 is to release a series of documents it previously admitted could lead to ministers scrapping the planned rail line if they were made public, The Sunday Telegraph can disclose. HS2 Ltd said it will hand over papers detailing discussions with Theresa May's Government over the scheme's planned completion dates, following a two-and-a-half year legal battle by a GP who fears a "cover-up" took place to mask delays.

... Dr Paul Thornton, a GP who is campaigning against HS2, has been attempting to obtain the documents since April 2017. He said what was known as far back as 2016 about delays should "clearly should be in the public domain."... Dr Thornton wanted the papers to be released immediately to ensure an  official review into the scheme is "fully informed" before it reports to Mr Johnson. 

... the firm is understood to have said: "Detractors of the HS2 programme may use such information to renew their criticism of the HS2 programme, which could result in cancellation of the HS2 programme by the government."


Sunday, 6 October 2019

Draft Minutes of Residents' Association AGM September 30th 2019

Minutes of the Annual General Meeting of the Burton Green Residents’ Association held on September 30th, 2019 at the Village Hall

Janet Hickinbottom explained that the Chair, Rona Taylor, was unable to attend because of illness in the family and the Vice Chair, Mary Webb was in hospital. Janet Hickinbottom wished them both well and said she would be leading the meeting with the help of Judi Hibberd who shared the Secretarial role with Janet.

Janet welcomed everyone to the meeting and was pleased to see such a good turnout on a very wet evening. She thanked the catering team for providing refreshments.


Apologies had been received from Cllr. John Cooke, Alison Fielding, Rona Taylor and Mary Webb.

Minutes of the last meeting

The minutes of the last Annual General Meeting of October 1st, 2018 were accepted with the addition of Helen Hehir to attendees.
Proposed: Terry Heyes
Seconded: Andy Gibbs

Matters Arising

All other matters arising were to be covered by agenda points.

Chair’s Report

A report had been circulated in advance And Janet read this out:

The Residents’ Association has had another very busy year supporting the Burton Green community.

The commemorations of the First World War Armistice on November 11th, 2018 brought the whole community together with an armistice tea and the very moving lighting of the Beacon of Light when it seemed the whole of Burton Green turned out .The Jubilee Verge was a focus of much interest, with crosses laid in memory of loved ones and two First World War soldier silhouettes.

The Santa Sleigh evening raised £500 for the chosen charity, Canley Community Centre, and the Balsall Common Lions generously contributed a further £200 to this cause. This year’s event will take place on December 13th, when we will be collecting for the Warwickshire Air Ambulance.

The tradition of having a Christmas tree on the Jubilee Verge is now well established and will be continued this year. Burton Green Church of England Academy students’ Christmas card competition has also become one of our Christmas traditions with all the cards being displayed at the Village Hall and the winning card being delivered to residents on the Santa Sleigh evening.

Two Burton Green clean ups have been organised this year and the Burton Green school students’ anti- litter poster competition showed the children’s commitment to protecting our environment. The winning poster, displayed along our roads, is hopefully having an impact on motorists.

The flower tubs at the approaches to Burton Green continue to enhance our environment, thanks to the residents who plant, maintain and water them. There are now plans to plant large numbers of daffodils on verges.

The lunches for the retired of Burton Green have continued to be a great success and the Bugle updates us on Burton Green events and issues four times a year. New residents have been given welcome leaflets with useful information and contacts.

The Speedwatch team has not been operating this year because of insufficient numbers of volunteers. The team needs a minimum of 10 people to operate regularly, with members committing to do two sessions a month. Speeding is always identified as a top worry for residents, so if you think you can help the team, please contact Pat Hehir.

The Residents’ Association continues to liaise with the Parish Council, and to represent Burton Green at the Kenilworth Forum. Residents’ concerns about potholes, pavement problems and street lighting are taken up with the County or District Council on a regular basis. We have also flagged up concerns about empty houses owned by HS2 Ltd.

The Parish Council have agreed to give the Residents’ Association £3 for each household each year. So we no longer need an income from membership fees. The constitution has been amended to indicate that all residents of Burton Green are deemed to be members of the Residents’ Association unless they indicate to the contrary in writing to our secretary.

A strong sense of community continues to be a unique feature of Burton Green with so many people contributing in so many ways. Many thanks to everyone.

There were no questions.

Treasurer’s Report

Dianne had submitted a report which was provided.

The Income & Expenditure Account and Balance Sheet are attached separately.

Janet thanked Dianne for keeping the accounts.

Election of Independent Examiner

Peter Tacon again agreed to act as Independent Examiner.
Proposed:  Eileen Nisbet
Seconded: Paddy Deeley
Unanimously agreed.

Peter was thanked for his continued support.

Election of Committee members

Judi Hibberd, as Joint Secretary, conducted this agenda item.

The constitution required that the officers and three committee members should stand down.  All the officers, Rona Taylor, Mary Webb, Janet Hickinbottom, Judi Hibberd and Dianne Adams were re-elected
Proposed: Deirdre Vernon
Seconded: Archie Taylor
Unanimously agreed.

Three committee members also stood down and agreed to be re-elected:
Hilary Cox, Paddy Deeley and Faith Ward
Proposed: Janet Stanworth
Seconded: Jill Line
Unanimously agreed.

Janet explained that more residents were welcome to join the committee and could either declare their willingness during or after the meeting.

Discussion of key Burton Green issues


Andy from HS2 provided a presentation which had also been available prior to the AGM and at a meeting for the Greenway Trust the previous month. Points covered included:

  • Programme of works
  • Ground investigations
  • Key design elements of the cut and cover tunnel

The presentation showed a computer simulation of the HS2 construction contracted to Balfour Beatty Vinci (owned by Taylor Woodrow) and costing £90k. The line was the section south of Lichfield with a spur into central Birmingham. The animation showed the line from the south of Cromwell Lane bridge as far as the National Grid site. It demonstrated how the road over the Cromwell Lane bridge would be diverted, the bridge demolition and the reinforcements and underpass structure.

The Burton Green tunnel would be the subject of public engagement meetings on October 26th and 28th. Much of the design was dominated by engineering works.

There was already a lot of work being undertaken in the area of which residents were aware including the creation of compounds near Balsall Common and by the A46. There would be no residential occupation on these sites and they were just intended for temporary offices and materials for storage and distribution. There would be a serious attempt not to move excavated materials by road and instead they would be redistributed along the route. Much groundwork surveying was ongoing and this would continue throughout the programme of works.

Q. When does the track go in? This was the responsibility of different contractors and there would be handover points at different stages. The starting point for the local excavations would be the summer of 2020 with compounds being established from April to June.

Q. Would there be more compounds? There would be about 100 compounds along the line but local ones had already been mentioned.

Q. How far below Cromwell Lane would the “green lid” be? The track was 12-14m below ground level. There was uncertainty about the height of the tunnel and so the distance between the level of Cromwell Lane and the “lid”. Details would be sought.

Q. The Neighbourhood Plan was considering the green space on top of the line. What structural capabilities did it have? HS2 would find the answer and respond.

Q. Could an underpass attract graffiti? It was difficult to say.

Q. What was the position regarding ancient woodland now as the government had issued a reprieve at the moment during a review. Sue, also of HS2, said yes there was a pause for review but what was absolutely necessary to do would stay on the programme.

Q. Was the contract issued for the demolition of the Village Hall? Different responsibilities lay with different contractors and the timescale was not currently available. Demolition would not take place until the new hall was operational.

Q. Would there be any encroachment on gardens along Hodgetts Lane that back onto the line? Only if already outlined within land limitations allowed.

Q. What contact was being made with Coventry City Council and what effects would there be especially on Westwood ward? The interface team was in regular contact with Coventry City Council and the names of individuals in the Council would be supplied. Traffic and vehicles would be the most obvious impact.

Q. Construction will generate traffic. What measures would be taken to alleviate this? The HS2 team would look at traffic models for the area and consider when would be the best time to move vehicles, considering peaks and troughs in the traffic, the routes available and using the line wherever possible to redistribute spoil. The haulage route would be utilised rather than local roads when feasible and the construction of this would begin in December 2019.

Q. How long will Cromwell Lane be closed when the diversion is created? Probably only a week.

Q. Would closure tie in with school holidays? This question would be taken back for a response.

Q. Will the Greenway be closed at any time? No, the temporary Greenway would be used.

Janet asked to whom answers to questions to HS2 would be sent and it was decided these should be conveyed to the clerk to the Parish Council.

The shelter

Terry Heyes asked how many attendees were aware that the overgrown structure in Red Lane had been build as an air raid warden’s shelter in the Second World War. A large proportion of residents was aware of this.

Terry explained that a group representing the Residents’ Association and the Parish Council has inspected the structure and discussed various options available. In its current state it was difficult to assess its true condition. Costs had been sought to remove the ivy but these were excessive. There were mixed views received when residents living close to the shelter were canvassed: some felt it was an eyesore whilst others wondered if it could be restored. It seemed to be used as a urinal by passing motorists but was unfit as a bus shelter for schoolchildren who waited nearby daily. There were only two buses that passed each week for other passengers. Even if restored, the shelter would not meet accessibility requirements. The safety of the structure was a concern.

Currently, no-one claimed ownership. Warwickshire County Council owned the verge on which the shelter stands and it was believed they would demolish it and re-grass the area if it was declared a health and safety issue. This seemed to be the best way forward but residents were asked to feedback their views before the next Parish Council meeting on October 18th. One resident suggested the open front could be bricked up and then the shelter left for the wildlife.

Relief Road

Cllr Alan Marshall showed a map of the proposed A46 relief road and explained the changes that had recently been made. Thanks were given to Cllr David Skinner, who was in attendance, and who had provided the information. This had also recently been sent round the village email loop. Full details were available via the link on that email which could be provided again as necessary.

There had been much speculation regarding the proposed route linking the A46 to Balsall Common/ Berkswell skirting Balsall Common via Catchems Corner.

The “strategic link road” formed stage 2 of the previous scheme and was a joint project costing an estimated £117m, to be completed in 2024/2025. The road would start at the A46 interchange near Stoneleigh which was long overdue and would cross countryside around the university to link with Westwood Heath Road.

Q. What was its purpose? To relieve traffic on Stoneleigh Road and the road through the university campus. The benefit for Burton Green was that it might stop the “rat run” of traffic in Red Lane, Cromwell Lane and Crackley Lane.

Q. Would it be a dual carriageway? As yet this was unclear. There might be an increase in traffic via Hob Lane but this might be better than the original threat of a new road running through the village.

Q. Is the road to be partly financed by the university? Nothing had been seen to indicate this. There might be a slip road to the university at a later stage.

Coventry City Council had not been informed of the latest plans. There were concerns because of the approval of the building of 130/140 houses in Westwood Heath Road which would only add to traffic problems.

Cllr. Illingworth added that it was a Coventry scheme which originally was trying to take traffic off the A45 and this version was crossing land within the boundary of Burton Green. It showed a lack of joined up thinking with HS2. The improvements to the junction of Westwood Heath Road and Cromwell Lane would not happen until after construction of new housing developments.

There was also disappointment regarding the removal of hedging along theWestwood Heath Road development site and again, Cllr Skinner had not been made aware this was to happen.

Any Other Business

Archie Taylor thanked the Residents’ Association committee and said, in spite of initial misgivings when a separate Parish Council was set up, he felt they were probably stronger than the Parish Council in many respects and were certainly very active and influential.

There was no other business

Date of Next Annual General Meeting

The next Annual General Meeting would be held on September 28th, 2020 at the Village Hall.


Monday, 16 September 2019

Draft Minutes of Residents Association Committee September 11th 2019

Hilary Cox; Andy Gibbs; Judi Hibberd; Janet Hickinbottom; Bron Putnam; Rona Taylor; Faith Ward; and Mary Webb

Apologies and Minutes of the last meeting

Apologies had been received from Dianne Adams, Paddy Deeley

Summary of actions following the meetingResponsible
Ask Peter Hallam again about rubble in Hob Lane as the problem was recurringRona
Send to Parish Council (PC) HS2 response to letter about house in Hodgett’s LaneJudi
Contact Chair of Village Hall (VH) committee re websiteRona
Contact representative of Broadwells Wood re dust problemRona
Email PC about dust complaint (as above)Judi
Email PC regarding HS2 parking problemsJudi
Sort out who is standing down and those willing to be re-elected at AGMJanet
Invite councillors, police and school head to AGM as guestsJudi and Rona
Establish date for 2020 AGM and book roomJudi
Book VH 18 Dec 2020 for Santa SleighJudi
Canvass opinion in Red Lane re shelterRona
Introduce shelter topic at AGMRona
Ask Peter Hallam about the safety aspect of the shelterRona
Add HS2 Community Fund discussion to AGMRona
Add HS2 Community Fund discussion to Nov meetingJudi
Refreshments at AGMMary and Hilary
Purchase spring bulbsMary and Hilary
Arrange with school the Christmas card competitionFaith

Minutes of the last meeting and Matters Arising

See Minutes of July 17th meeting

The minutes of the meeting were approved.

1. Matters Arising from the previous minutes

  • Police Watch – link completed
  • Letter to Hedgerow Nursery - completed
  • Contact with Cheryl about website - to be actioned
  • Minor wording changes to donations policy - completed
  • Finalising of Welcome Leaflet, printing and distribution - completed
  • Clarify the re-route of the Greenway – awaiting details
  • HS2 Community Fund to be added to September agenda – carried forward to November
  • Contact William Slater - completed
  • Copies of the Bugle to Cala Homes - completed
  • Weed killer to be purchased to use on the Jubilee verge - completed

All other matters arising were to be agenda items.

2. Village Hall Update

Cheryl was unable to attend but said there was nothing new to report.

3. Treasurer’s Report

See: Treasurer’s Report

Dianne had sent her apologies but a report had been circulated.

4. Residents’ views/concerns

  • A complaint had been received from Broadwells Wood residents about the dust caused by HS2 works on the pipeline. Cllr Gibbs said the pipeline work was almost completed but there remained work to do on the diversion of the Greenway and then the construction of the new Village Hall. Rona would contact residents to signpost them to the HS2 Helpline to complain about insufficient attention to dust management and to refer to the Code of Construction Practice. The PC would also be informed. Action: Rona
  • Dangerous parking by HS2 contractors was causing traffic problems in Hodgett’s Lane. It was agreed to report this to the HS2 Helpline.
  • A resident had reported the difficulty in contacting HS2 with complaints Email: mailto:HS2enquiries@hs2.org.uk Freephone: 08081 434 434
  • A resident had reported two lampposts were not working in Cromwell Lane.  Residents should make a note of the lamp post number and contact Warwick District Council:  https://www.warwickdc.gov.uk/reportstreetlighting  Or phone 01926 456076

5. AGM Sep 30th planning

  • The banner had been amended to the 2019 date and would be erected at the top of Red Lane.
  • Mary and Hilary agreed to arrange refreshments. Action: Mary and Hilary
  • HS2 had agreed to put their presentation about the tunnel on a loop to be shown at the AGM with someone available to answer questions.
  • The committee agreed that no vote was needed regarding selection of the charity to receive funds from the Santa Sleigh collection as it was unanimously agreed to donate to Warwickshire Air Ambulance.

6. Update on and discussion of Residents’ Association initiatives and issues

  • Former air raid warden’s shelter. Rona provided a brief history of the structure and explained the costs she had researched should it be decided to attempt restoration. Questions were asked about whether this was a good use of finances (although the costs might be sought from external sources) and whether there was a general consensus in the community that the shelter needed restoration.  There were concerns as to whether the roof contained asbestos. It was agreed it was an eyesore in its current state and it was decided that Peter Hallam should be asked about its safety.  Residents on the opposite side of the road should be canvassed to find their opinions. Action: Rona
  • Cala homes had agreed to buy a bench and, if it was decided to demolish the structure, the bench should at least bear a plaque referring to the air raid warden’s shelter.
  • Cala Homes update on the site. Three houses were now occupied. The entrance to the site is being adapted and Cala Homes reported the need to trim back the hedges to allow for visibility. This will need further discussion. The PC is likely to be putting together a proposition regarding the speed limit and signage at the top of Red Lane as both the Greenway diversion and Cala Homes site will impact on the road.
  • Bulbs on the verge. It was agreed to spend up to £100 on the purchase and planting of spring bulbs. Action: Hilary and Mary
  • HS2 letter reply. Following concerns expressed by the Residents’ Association regarding the empty property at 36 Hodgett’s Lane, this response was received from Stephen Leigh, the HS2 Interface Manager:

Thank you for your email. I have now heard from my colleague and can respond as follows:
I have been informed that 36 Hodgetts Lane is to be kept vacant due to the level of costs being required to bring this up to a lettable standard. 
I can, however, give you a bit more background on the £20,000 limit in relation to this property. HS2 has to ensure that any property it lets out meets the required standards. The property requires complex works that will cost over £20,000 and as such this will require tendering and sign off by Department for Transport (DfT). We have carried out a budget cost exercise and the costs identified far exceeds this limit. As such our financial model has proven that carrying out the works will not be value for money. As a publicly funded organisation we have to ensure that any spend represents good value for money for the taxpayer.
We have reviewed the costs in detail and cannot proceed with the works due to reasons set out above. Community use was suggested as there may be grants or funding available that we, as HS2 Ltd, cannot access. This option is still available and HS2 would be glad to discuss this further should some form of community use be found for this property. HS2 is examining options for potentially disposing of the property earlier but this is subject to approvals being sought from DfT. The current stance from HS2 is that unfortunately this property is likely to remain vacant until one year after the line is operational.
If you have any further questions then please do not hesitate to contact me.

  • VE DAY May 8th, 2020. It had been agreed to work with the VH committee to arrange an event on May 8th, 2020.  Mary had booked the Hall. Ideas included a lunch with entertainment, but the final details were to be agreed with representatives of the VH.
  • HS2 fund – what should we ask for? Suggestions included landscaping and a play area on top of the tunnel.
  • A problem was highlighted as being unable to apply for funding until the tunnel was completed. The query about choice of projects would be raised at the AGM. It was felt important to liaise with e Neighbourhood Plan group.

7. Greenway Trust update

There was no update.

8. Parish Councillor's Report

There was nothing to report as the PC had not met during the summer. Visibility splays at the entrance to Cala Homes site would be raised at the next P.C. meeting.

9. Any Other Business

  • It was reported that the dog waste bin at the Cromwell Land entrance to the Greenway was overflowing and people continued to place bags on the top of the bin.  This had been reported and it would be emptied within the next 2 weeks.
  • The Christmas card competition for the schoolchildren would be overseen by Faith as the winning entry needed to be at the printers by prior to the next committee meeting. Action: Hilary
  • Santa’s Sleigh collection would take place on Friday December 13th. As dance classes were taking place at the VH, the Green Room would be used at the start of the evening.
  • A Christmas tree would be purchased in December.
  • A litter pick would start from the bridge on Cromwell Lane at 10.30 on October 13th.
  • The next Residents’ lunch was scheduled for October 4th.

10. Date, time and venue of Next Meeting

The next committee meeting was scheduled for AGM Sept 30th Nov 27th

Monday, 9 September 2019

HS2 Community Event 11th September

Two events are being organised by HS2 on September 11th.

The first event is between 1pm and 3pm. This was originally intended for the Greenway Group but has been broadened out so others can also attend.

The second event is between 4pm and 6pm. This is being run by LM as a drop in type session with the 3D model of the Greenway also present.

The agenda will be:

1.      Introductions
2.      Terms of Reference
3.      Background
4.      LM 3D Model Demonstration
5.      Winter Clearance
6.      BBV Update on Design Engagement
7.      Future Engagement in the Area
8.      Questions

Original Notice

We have been informed by HS2 that they will be holding a drop in meeting on Wednesday September 11th, 1pm -3pm when they will be demonstrating their digital modelling of what the area of Burton Green affected by HS2 will look like after construction is completed.

Update 7th September

Some residents have just received a notice from HS2 regarding the meeting on 11th September stating that the session runs from  4pm - 6pm with 3D model demonstrations about the Greenway works being shown at 4:15pm and 5:15pm.

This is a different time and not quite the subject matter that HS2 originally agreed to present.  They originally agreed to demonstrate a 'digital model of the Scheme Design for the railway in the Burton Green area with a future event to demonstrate a digital model of the Temporary Greenway'; this event  was never intended to be solely about The Greenway.

It is of course possible that this event is in addition to the one originally scheduled from 1pm to 3pm and if so then this should have been included on the original notice.

Sunday, 8 September 2019

HS2 Mammoth Overruns

It has been a hectic week at Westminster and a very good time for the Government to bury bad news.

The timescales for HS2 delivery have been set back again. The delivery of the Birmingham phase may now be five years behind schedule.

Full report:

An interesting consequence of this is that an extended timescale may incur yet further cost increases over and above those already conceded.

Coffee, Cake, Computers........and Chat

Coffee Cakes and Computers is changing!

New time, new venture. We will now be starting at 10.00 and finishing at 12.00.

We will be starting on Tuesday 10th September.

We will continue to offer information and support on all matters relating to IT gadgets, but we will also be offering Coffee, Cake and Chat for those who would like to come to the village hall just for some company. We will have a pack of cards, a chess set and various board games for anyone wishing to just come along and enjoy some social interaction.  If you wish, you can bring your own games.

At our meeting on Tuesday 24th September, we will be making a presentation about home security when we will be explaining some technical and non-technical ways to improve your home security.

At £3.00 per session for tea or coffee and a slice of cake, it’s a bargain and (we feel) much more interesting than sitting in Costa!  Come and join us!

You will all be very welcome.

Saturday, 7 September 2019

Bugle - September 2019

The September 2019 edition of the Bugle has been published.

Just below are thumbnails of the page images. To enlarge any page image, click on the thumbnail below. Once you have the individual page, you may also need to click on the magnifying glass in your browser, where you can view the page at its original size...

The text of the Chair's Report has also been added to the Residents' Association page.

The archive of back issues of the Bugle is here: Bugle Archive.