The new interchange station, set to be built in Solihull, was praised for its green credentials as Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council approved the design
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.
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.
HS2’s design consultants ARUP have worked closely with their landscape architects Churchman Thornhill Finch to develop a design which celebrates the local context and biodiversity of its native landscape associated with the Forest of Arden.
Major growth plans around the site
HS2’s stations director, Matthew Botelle, said: “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.”
“We have also worked with our local stakeholders to design a station that considers future major growth plans around the site.
“These are being led by the Urban Growth Company, 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.”
Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, added: “HS2 has got a critical role to play in the West Midlands’ economic recovery by driving investment and helping to provide tens of thousands of jobs.
“I am therefore delighted that just weeks after we saw the bridge installed over the M42, the project has taken another step forward with the approval of the plans for Interchange station.
“Given the climate emergency the West Midlands is facing, it is also great to see how eco-friendly these plans are.
“It is brilliant news that the Interchange plans have been approved by Solihull Council, and I look forward to working with both the Council and HS2 Ltd to make sure we maximise the potential of this site.
“I am particularly keen to see the parking provision around the station become multi-storey to help free up critical housing and commercial land.”