Report admits HS2 plans could have “major adverse effect” on Leeds businesses

A report has shown that the high-speed rail station will mean demolition of a number of buildings in Leeds City Centre.


By Holly Webb


The future of several Leeds organisations are in question after a government report reveals that a number of buildings in the LS10 area are due to be demolished once construction of the second High-Speed rail line (HS2) commences.

The report is the government’s Working Draft Environmental Statement, with the Community Area Report for Leeds Station including details on the effects the construction will have on the city.

The government admits that the planned demolitions could “result in a major adverse effect which would be significant”.

Who is affected?

Although the immense construction will affect much of South Leeds, there are a number of businesses and organisations that will suffer most, following the announcement of the demolition plans.

The map below shows the location of the demolitions mentioned in the report.

Among those affected are Leeds Life Church Hub and AP Lawyers. Both organisations reside in the historic Hurley House, that is due to be demolished.

Additionally, the report states that Hilton Leeds City Hotel, Leeds School of Motorcycling and a gypsy and traveler site on Kidacre Street are also set to be demolished.

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Understandably, the reveal of this report has prompted concern across the entire HS2 line, not only in Leeds.

Despite the bold demolition plans, not everyone is so opposing to the idea.

One business owner who asked not to be named, will have to relocate his offices once construction and demolition has begun. He spoke to Leeds Hacks about the future of the area.

“It’ll affect everyone really, the whole community” he said. “Yes. it will definitely be a massive upheaval, but you have to trust in the council, trust that they will help us all out”.

“You also have to trust in the council in what they are spending our money on. Yes, I may be inconvenienced by this plan, but I will hopefully benefit from it too. There will be thousands of new jobs available, and hopefully a better rail than the one we currently have.”

Although there is plenty of opposition to the new line, many also agree with this positive statement. Lead Councillor Judith Blake has said that no only will HS2 bring up to 23,000 construction jobs alone to the Leeds region, but it is also “fundamental for Leeds regeneration and connectivity”.

How to get involved

This report launches two new public consultations, giving the community a chance to formally respond to the designs and proposals for the Phase 2b route.

To submit any concerns to the public consultation, members of the public can visit one of the information points.

When does it start?

Work on the HS2 is due to begin 2026, with the public consultation lasting until 21 December this year.  This route will serve Leeds, Manchester and the West Midlands.

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