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Devastation in wake of HS2 route revealed

Staffordshire | News | Published:

The full scale of the devastation that will be left in the wake of HS2 can today be revealed in full.

Among the trail of destruction is one of the country's oldest golf clubs and more than 160 wildlife species and special habitats which will be torn up as part of the first phase of the £33billion project.

The Victorian clubhouse at Whittington Heath Golf Club is earmarked for demolition, with the 250mph trains going through a minimum of eight holes of the 127-year-old course.

Nearly 150 acres of rare heathland will be torn up near Whittington Barracks and 129 acres of ancient woodland around Lichfield affected. Today wildlife experts warn of the adverse impact of the first phase of the scheme between London and Lichfield which is nearing approval.

It comes as anti-HS2 campaigners reveal that ticket purchases for a convention in Stafford have exceeded expectations.

Despite the havoc, Whittington Health Golf Club is determined to stay at its current site and is in negotiations to transform the course.

The site was the home of Lichfield racecourse, and the Victorian grandstand was later converted into today's clubhouse. John Tipper, a member of the club's HS2 sub-committee, said the club was working with local authorities and HS2 to find a solution.

He said: "The effect on the club is considerable. The clubhouse will need to be demolished and relocated."

Lichfield MP Michael Fabricant has also been supporting the club by arranging discussions with civil servants and lobbying for a suitable compensation package.

There is expected to be no disruption until late 2018 when work finally reaches Lichfield if the scheme is approved by parliament.

Staffordshire Wildlife Trust has highlighted concerns over the impact the high-speed rail scheme will have on the county's wildlife.

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