‘Home Counties mafia’ out to wreck HS2, says city council leader

How Toton could look

The leader of Nottingham City Council has issued a warning that if Brexit goes “badly wrong” the East Midlands could miss out on HS2.

Speaking to TheBusinessDesk.com in Cannes at the international property show MIPIM, Jon Collins said he was wary of a “Home Counties mafia” running a “populist campaign” against HS2.

He added: “I think we have a major problem wit HS2 if Brexit goes badly wrong. There are some platforms, mainly around the Home Counties mafia, running a populist campaign against HS2 coming northwards and if Brexit does go wrong – and how can it not – this would crash public expenditure.

“I’d say the whole project has a 50/50 chance of happening right now.”

The news comes as it was announced in the Spring Statement this week that Sir John Peace would be in charge of putting together an East Midlands Development Corporation aimed at bringing forward a “once-in-a-generation” opportunity to transform the region’s economy.

Its focus will be on maximising and accelerating development opportunities and strategic transport connectivity across the East Midlands, and particularly around the HS2 station at Toton, East Midlands Airport, SEGRO Logistics Park, Chetwynd Barracks and Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station, which is due to be decommissioned by 2025.

The Development Corporation says it will aim to encourage and bring forward the creation of tens of thousands of new jobs and thousands of new homes on these sites in the coming decades.