Doncaster Council signed non-disclosure agreement with HS2 bosses

Doncaster Council has confirmed officers signed a non-disclosure agreement with bosses at HS2 to allow information and data on ‘route alignment’.

Tuesday, 5th January 2021, 12:30 pm

In an email seen by the Local Democracy Reporting Service, Mayor Ros Jones said the council had to sign the NDA in order to also enable the council to recover some of the resource costs in supplying HS2 with Local Plan information and highlighting network and environmental issues.

Back in November, Mexborough First Coun Sean Gibbons asked the mayor for more details on why the council signed the NDA with HS2 bosses.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Ros Jones, Mayor of Doncaster. Picture: Marie Caley

Dozens of homes in Doncaster are earmarked for demolition.

The mayor said the NDA was needed to ‘enable scrutiny and challenge to the design’ of the route and the council ‘critically relied on information and data’ from HS2 to be able to scrutinise and challenge the proposals.

Mayor Jones added that it was essential for a communications channel where officers had the ability to exchange information relating to the council’s emerging planning policies and strategic concerns.

The local authority was also said to need the input into the assessment of right locations for traffic surveys, in liaison with transport officers along the route.

In the email, Mayor Jones said: “Without signing the NDA, highlighting the clear and damaging impact of the route would have been even more difficult and may have led to even more blight on the communities affected.

“I clearly understand and accept the local frustration over the way HS2 engaged stakeholders, and particularly the local communities, on the HS2 alignment.

“I repeatedly challenged the process and remained unwavering in my denouncement of the proposed alignment and the devastation put on the local communities, such as the Shimmer Estate in Mexborough.

“However, to enable my concerns to be raised, we needed to know the details of the proposals, and the NDA was a necessary requirement to discharge that scrutiny and challenge.

"I therefore remain unconvinced that the proposed revised route alignment is an effective or worthwhile option, and continue to challenge the route proposals where possible.”

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.