HS2 Schedule 17 Applications

High Speed Rail (HS2)

HS2 is a new high speed rail connection proposed by the Government which will connect London with the Midlands, the North and Scotland.  The project is split into three phases – Phase One linking London and the West Midlands; Phase 2a linking the West Midlands and Crewe; and Phase 2b linking to Manchester and Leeds. 

The West Midlands to Crewe route forms part 2a of the project and its route runs through parts of Cheshire East.  It was granted Royal Assent in February 2021 and is now set in law under the High Speed Rail (West  Midlands to Crewe) Act 2021.

Background to Schedule 17 applications

The High Speed Rail Act grants deemed planning permission for the construction of the railway, but this is subject to the nominated undertaker (the party/parties who will construct the railway) obtaining the consent or approval of the Local Planning Authority for various matters of construction and design along the route.  These works do not fall within the normal scope of control covered by the Town and Country Planning Act and require a separate application for approval.  They are known as ‘Schedule 17 Applications’.

Schedule 17 applications cover

The Council is required to approve plans and specifications for works such as buildings and road vehicle parks, terracing, cuttings, embankments and other earthworks, fences, walls or other barriers, transformers, telecommunication masts, pedestrian access to the railway line, artificial lighting, waste and spoil disposal and borrow pits.  The Council do not have powers of approval for any works or features of a temporary nature, for anything underground except any part of a station available for use without a ticket, nor for any tunnel or railway track bed.

What can the Council consider in determining a Schedule 17 application?

Under the legislation, the Council can only refuse to approve the application, or impose conditions on any approval on two main sets of grounds:

  1. Where the Council consider that the design or external appearance of the building works ought to be modified:
  2. to preserve the local environment or local amenity;
  3. to prevent or reduce prejudicial effects on road safety or on the free flow of traffic in the local area; or
  4. to preserve a site of archaeological or historic interest or nature conservation value,

and is reasonably capable of being so modified; or

Where the Council consider that the development ought to, and could reasonably, be carried out elsewhere on land within the Act limits.

In considering the likely impacts of any Schedule 17 application, the Council also have to consider, amongst other things, whether the proposals are consistent with the HS2 Phase 2a Environmental Minimum Requirements which accompany the Act.  These documents

set out the environmental and sustainability principles that the nominated undertaker will follow during the construction of the scheme, and they detail the general construction standards and environmental, amenity and heritage mitigation which will be implemented during the works.  In assessing the Schedule 17 applications and considering the need for any planning conditions, the Council cannot replicate the controls already secured through the Environmental Minimum Requirements.  

These can be found on the following here:

How can I find out more information about HS2 in Cheshire East?

Details of the route within Cheshire East, how properties may be affected and where to find the plans.