HS2 High Speed Railway - Our Future Plans
In October 1997, Border Collie Trust opened its rescue centre at Colton, near Rugeley in Staffordshire. The Trust purchased an established boarding kennels set in serene 4.5 acres, an ideal setting for caring for Border Collies, a breed often seen as noise sensitive.
There were many improvements to be made, but the premises offered that first step. Following a period of hard work by Trustees, volunteers and supporters those improvements began to take shape. Between 1999 and 2006 an incredible effort saw the construction of a 40 kennel rescue block, a 14 kennel boarding kennel block, a 7 kennel special needs block and an admin office.
Subsequently further improvements to the car park, driveway, the kennels and the grounds saw a rescue centre of which everyone involved can be proud of.
In January 2013 the first plans of the HS2, High Speed Railway were published, and it became apparent that there would be a major impact during construction and subsequently to the area around the rescue centre although at that stage there seemed little loss of BCT property to the project. However, the impact of the construction and subsequent use was recognised and discussions began between HS2 and BCTGB.
In early 2017 it became apparent that the scheme had been amended to have a significant impact on BCTGB. The latest plans revealed that it was proposed to divert Moor Lane through our property, meaning that we stand to lose more than a third our land. The construction phase, of at least three years, would make the use of our exercise area impossible due to the disturbance to construct and subsequently operate HS2.
The impact upon the property and the dogs in our care makes the location no longer suitable for our work.
The Bill is before Parliament, there is an expectation that it will become an Act and the scheme will commence in about two years’ time.
Trustees have come to the difficult decision that our only alternative is to seek a new site where we can start again. In view of the situation we will be seeking an advance sale of the property to HS2 and negotiate suitable terms and compensation. There is no guarantee at this stage of that outcome, the process will incur expenses and costs to rebuild and replicate facilities at a new location which meets the needs of BCTGB in the long term.
A few images below demonstrate the changes we have achieved in the last 21 years.