Page last updated at 14:07 GMT, Wednesday, 14 April 2010 15:07 UK

Warwickshire candidates support high-speed rail link

Nick Milton, Labour prospective parliamentary candidate Kenilworth and Southam, Warwickshire
The high speed rail link would create many jobs, Mr Milton said

Cross party support has been given by three parliamentary candidates in Warwickshire for a high speed rail link between London and Birmingham.

The government announced plans in March to build a £17bn rail line through Burton Green which could require the demolition of homes and a village hall.

Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat candidates for Kenilworth and Southam said they broadly supported it.

They said it would benefit the economy but they wanted to help residents too.

'Blight lives'

Several hundred people attended a protest meeting in Burton Green, Warwickshire, on Tuesday night, about the proposed high-speed rail link, on which which supporters hope work could begin in 2017.

Resident Chris Langton said she had just built an extension on her home, which would be in the middle of the train line if it was moved 10m (32ft) from the current proposed route.

She said an adjustment of 75m (246ft) would mean her whole house would have to be demolished.

Jeremy Wright, Conservative prospective parliamentary candidate Kenilworth and Southam, Warwickshire
Mr Wright said the line should follow an existing transport route

Kenilworth and Southam Labour candidate, Nick Milton, said he firmly supported the high-speed rail link, which was "an important part of the economic future of this country", but said he also recognised the potential for it to "blight" people's lives who lived along the route.

"I think it will create a lot of jobs," he added.

He said: "We clearly need to identify who these properties belong to and we need to get them proper compensation. That's an absolutely essential part of making this route a palatable one."

Tory candidate Jeremy Wright said he wanted to spend time ensuring the right route was chosen, to reduce the negative impact on its neighbours and the environment.

"My view is that the route should go up an existing transport corridor," he said.

"There is an argument for high speed rail if the network extends north of Birmingham and connects properly through London directly and also joins to Heathrow, but we must have the right route," he added.

Nigel Rock Liberal Democrats prospective parliamentary candidate Kenilworth and Southam, Warwickshire
Residents must work together to change the route, Mr Rock said

The Lib Dems candidate Nigel Rock urged people to work together to get the proposed route changed.

"Local communities need to be protected, they do not need to be divided by this. People need to work together to get this route adjusted. We need real consultation."

"We need people's input to get the best result for the country but certainly for the people here," he added.

Diana Levett, of Burton Green, said she had lived in the village her entire life and would miss her garden most if the line was built.

"I am already considering silly decisions like should I put any more plants in the garden," she added.

A public consultation is continuing.



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