Saltley Viaduct

Final key HS2 structures approved in West Midlands

The final two major structures being built to bring HS2 to Birmingham have received planning approval from local councils.

The River Blythe Viaduct and Saltley Viaduct are the latest of eight “Key Design Elements” (KDEs) on the West Midlands section of the HS2 route to receive Schedule 17 planning approval.

The River Blythe Viaduct, which will be a 475-metre structure south of the new HS2 Interchange Station in Solihull, received approval from Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council.

Feedback from the local community was also factored into the planning of the construction, with considerations made for the areas near the River Blythe which are designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

Saltley Viaduct, which will be a 225-metre structure two miles north-east of Birmingham city centre, received planning approval from Birmingham City Council.

“The approvals received for the River Blythe Viaduct and Saltley Viaduct complete the set of KDEs in the West Midlands which will bring HS2 into central Birmingham, whilst contributing positively to local communities.”

Stephen Powell, HS2 Ltd’s Head of Delivery said: “Achieving these two KDE planning approvals is a significant milestone for the project. It’s been hugely important for us to engage and consult with communities as we reach the final design stages of these key structures in the West Midlands, and we’re very grateful for the feedback they have provided.”

The River Blythe Viaduct and Saltley Viaduct, along with the other six KDE’s on the West Midlands route, form part of the section of HS2 designed by Balfour Beatty VINCI (BBV), HS2’s construction partner in the Midlands, and a Design Joint Venture of Mott MacDonald and SYSTRA with Weston Williamson + Partners as architects.

The project team is responsible for the 90 kilometre stretch of the route between Long Itchington in Warwickshire and Handsacre in Staffordshire.

Nick McGough, Director at Weston Williamson + Partners, and Lead Architect for the BBV Design Joint Venture, said: “All of HS2 needs to be designed sensitively but KDE structures in particular were identified through the parliamentary process due to their scale and significance. The whole team has worked incredibly hard for over 6 years to engage local communities in a process which has involved Local Authorities, key stakeholders and the HS2 Independent Design Panel.

“The approvals received for the River Blythe Viaduct and Saltley Viaduct complete the set of KDEs in the West Midlands which will bring HS2 into central Birmingham, whilst contributing positively to local communities.”

Image credit: HS2

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