Planning Approval Granted for HS2 Interchange Station

HS2’s Interchange Station, which will sit in Solihull near Birmingham, has been granted planning approval.

Solihull Council has granted planning approval for the station, the surrounding landscape and public realm, and the automated people mover, which will provide a connection between the station and Birmingham Airport, the NEC and Birmingham International Station.

The station was recently awarded the BREEAM ‘outstanding’ certification at the design stage. The BREEAM award is issued to particularly sustainable buildings and projects. That puts the HS2 Interchange Station in the top 1 percent of buildings in the UK.

Aerial view of HS2 Interchange Station
Aerial view of HS2 Interchange Station

The Interchange Station will incorporate renewable technologies. Once it opens it will use natural ventilation, daylight, harvested rainwater and solar energy in order to keep carbon emissions as low as possible. The connecting APM will be able to carry 2,100 passengers per hour in each direction and will run a service every three minutes along the 2.3km route.

Matthew Botelle, Stations Director, HS2, said:

“We’re extremely pleased to receive approval for the design of Interchange station, which will be net zero carbon in operation, and adopts the latest eco-friendly design and sustainable technologies. The operation of our stations will play a key role in the UK’s fight against climate change and achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

“Our architects and engineers have worked together with landscape architects, soil scientists, ecologists and water specialists to develop a truly unique, landscape-led, contextual proposition which draws on the local Arden setting for its inspiration, with lots of new habitats for wildlife.

“We have also worked with our local stakeholders to design a station that considers future major growth plans around the site. These are being led by the Urban Growth Company, will support 70,000 new and existing jobs, 5,000 new homes and 650,000m2 of commercial space across the UK Central Hub, generating £6.2bn GVA per year and bringing 1.3m people to within a 45-minute public transport commute of the station.”

A contract will be issued to a construction partner in 2022. Construction is planned to begin in 2024.

Kim Quazi, Director, ARUP Architects, said:

“Creating the world’s most sustainable station has always been at the heart of HS2’s design vision and this planning approval is testament to everything we have been working towards. This represents a significant milestone for station design and a step forward in our quest for greener rail.

“From the striking roof supported by light-weight glulam timber – inspired by the form of a leaf - to the green open spaces, everything has been selected to minimise the station’s carbon footprint and ensure that it reflects its surroundings and unique location.

“Equally significant is the approval for the Automated People Mover, which links Interchange Station directly to the NEC, Birmingham International Rail Station and Birmingham International Airport. A truly modern, world-class, elevated connection has been designed to complement its varying settings and includes new crossings of the M42 motorway and the West Coast mainline.”

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