HS2 derailed: finding planning opportunities left behind

After weeks of speculation, the Prime Minister finally announced the scrapping of the northern leg of HS2. But what does this mean for the projects that received planning permission?

October 5, 2023

The termination of the High-Speed 2’s (HS2) northern leg has reverberated across the transportation and planning sectors, marking the end of an era yet possibly the beginning of something new. 

The official announcement from the Prime Minister confirmed what many had speculated, but the question remains: What happens to the planning and projects that had already received the green light?

The fallout and immediate implications

The immediate consequences of scrapping HS2's northern phase are still unclear, but it sets in motion a cascade of changes and challenges for the contractors, suppliers and communities intertwined with the project.

For projects that had secured planning permission, the derailment of HS2 isn’t merely a symbolic end; it affects employment, regional economics, and the broader development narrative that has long been sold to local communities and investors.

Exploring opportunities amidst cancellations

While the decision is undoubtedly disruptive, it simultaneously unlocks a number of opportunities - ripe for exploration and potentially pivotal for the regeneration of communities and economies impacted by the cancellation.

From Birmingham to Manchester, the land and properties initially earmarked for HS2's tracks and stations now present as canvases, inviting innovative developmental ideas.

With HS2's northern leg no longer on the table, we rolled up our sleeves and dived into our tool’s specialised planning filters.

The result? We uncovered over 40 sites along the route, with approved planning permission for HS2-linked development. This not only calls for a deeper dive into where these projects stand today but also prompts us to ask: Can we find new opportunities in what HS2 has left behind?

Navigating planning applications with Searchland

From replacing homes to tearing down industrial buildings in the anticipated path of the railway, the projects we unearthed are vast and varied. By applying a little logic, along with our with some simple filters, we collected an extensive list of potential development opportunities in a few clicks.

Laptop showing planning opportunities on scrapped HS2 northern linee

Here's a peek at what our initial search brought to light:

And for those interested in the status of these applications… 100% were approved!

The abandonment of the HS2’s northern leg is not merely a full stop but perhaps a comma, pausing before the onset of a new chapter - one filled with innovative developmental possibilities.

Let’s explore the legacy of HS2 together - book a demo with our team to find out more.

July 9, 2024

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