‘Serious concerns’ over HS2 route which could threaten heritage site

Nostell Priory
Nostell Priory

Changes to the proposed route of the controversial high speed rail link could have “devastating consequences” for one of the district’s most treasured sites.

Drawings revealed yesterday show plans for the HS2 railway line which runs close to Nostell Priory and a new depot to be built in Crofton.

But Wakefield Council leader Peter Box and the National Trust, which runs the Grade 1 listed building and parklands , have raised serious concerns about the proposals.

Coun Box said: “This is an area of national importance and the proposed route could have devastating consequences for one of the country’s and district’s most prestigious heritage sites.”

The building is home to historic paintings, rare furniture, unique collections and its 121 hectares of Grade 2* listed parklands has more than 120,000 visitors every year.

Jenny Layfield, general manager at Nostell Priory, said: “We are seriously concerned about the proximity of the line to Nostell which introduces an alien feature into the landscape, in particular, bringing noise and negative visual impacts for visitors to Nostell from lighting, railway infrastructure and passing trains.

“The close proximity of the proposed line to Nostell’s parkland lakes risks giving rise to water pollution, whilst the sensitivity to dust in the house risks significantly impacts on the house’s important collection, which includes numerous significant paintings, extensive pieces of Chippendale furniture and the largest collection of silver in the care of the National Trust.”

She also raised concerns about the full impact that the new Crofton Rolling Stock Depot could have on the estate, and people in nearby villages.