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HS2 secures planning approval for Interchange station in Solihull, UK

HS2 has secured planning approval from the Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council for the Interchange station to be constructed at Solihull, in UK. The planning application for the station and the surrounding landscape and public realm, along with the Automated People Mover, were approved by the Council.

The station, which will be at the heart of the HS2 network in the Midlands, recently became the first railway station globally to achieve the BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ certification at the design stage  – a measure of sustainability for new and refurbished buildings – putting it in the top 1% of buildings in the UK for eco-friendly credentials.

The HS2 Interchange station design

The Council’s planning team said that the design of the station “draws upon the historic and agricultural character of the local area and delivers a strong sense of place and identity through its architectural form and the design of its landscape.”

The station’s design makes use of renewable technologies, and in operation, the station will use natural ventilation, daylight, harvested rainwater and solar energy to cut carbon. The Automated People Mover will link to the NEC, Birmingham International Station and Birmingham Airport, carrying up to 2,100 passengers per hour in each direction, with a service every three minutes along a 2.3km route.

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According to HS2’s Stations Director Matthew Botelle, they are 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,” he said.

He further added that they have also worked with local stakeholders to design a station that considers future major growth plans around the site. These are being led by the Urban Growth Company, and 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,” said Mr. Botelle.

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