We have received the following update from the Buckinghamshire County Council HS2 team:
The Select Committee timetable up until the end of October has now been released, which includes a number of individuals representing themselves. This update provides details of the most recent Select Committee timetable; information on how route-wide petitioning points have been divided up between local authorities; and information on a recent health impact assessment carried out in the Chilterns.
Select Committee Update
The most recent Select Committee timetable is now available and can be found at https://www.parliament.uk/documents/commons-committees/hs2/revised_October_programme.pdf. The timetable includes a number of members of public who will be representing themselves, and these are outlined, along with their key petitioning points, in the table below.
For petitioners who are due to appear in person, it is worthwhile attending one of the sessions listed below to get a clearer idea of how the process will run. This will give you an idea of the types of evidence presented to the Select Committee and how the Committee responds to these. It will also show the types of questions the Select Committee ask, and how the Select Committee interact with petitioners. Members of the public can attend any session, although it is worth arriving in good time to allow passing through security.
Please note that HS2 Ltd is in some cases reaching agreements with petitioners before their appearance, resulting in some petitioners not appearing, and some changes to timetabling.
|Petition number||Background and key petitioning topics||Date of appearance|
|784||Live in a farmhouse. Petitioned regarding the extent of land take, maintenance of landscape features, accommodation works and transport impacts.||15th October|
|847||Live in a rural property with 2 ha of land. Have petitioned on blight, flooding impacts, a balancing pond and transport impacts.||15th October|
|1727||Live in a residential cul-de-sac just off a main road. Hoped to move house shortly. Petitioned against transport impacts (impacts on school, size of vehicles travelling through the village), ecology and flooding impacts.||15th October|
|1393||Live in a village. Petitioned against noise, dust, road closures and diversions.||15th October|
|1749||Live within 50 metres of the line just outside the safeguarding area. Petitioned regarding impact of a viaduct and health impacts.||16th October|
|1731||Live in a small village. Petitioned regarding traffic impacts, impacts on public rights of way, impacts on a fishing lake, and movement of materials and spoil.||16th October|
|1725||Live in a small rural village. Petitioned regarding impacts on a local school (including impacts of traffic), impacts of construction sites and road diversions.||20th October|
|1729||Live in a small residential estate 95 metres from the proposed development. Petitioned regarding impacts on the local primary school, lighting, noise and dust, traffic impacts and compensation.||20th October|
|1424||Live in a village with no public transport. Petitioned regarding compensation, impacts on ancient woodland, impacts on designated areas (conservation area) and noise.||21st October|
|1368||Live in a village 60 metres from the line, close to another railway line. Petitioned regarding construction traffic movement, noise, dust and vibration.||21st October|
Joe Rukin (Campaign Director for Stop HS2) will be appearing on behalf of petitioner number 1361 and 1728 on the 16th October. He has extensive experience of speaking on behalf of residents and therefore may be worth watching.
For those who are unable to attend sessions in person, they can be watched online at http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Main/Live.aspx.
This week it was announced that HS2 Ltd has agreed to tunnel under the A38 and the West Coast Main Line around Lichfield, rather than pass over on a huge viaduct. This announcement is a major victory for campaigners and one of the most significant changes to the whole of Phase One.
The tunnel proposal was agreed before it was due to be heard by the Select Committee in mid-October. This demonstrates that HS2 Ltd is continuing to agree to points through negotiations rather than through the Select Committee process. Further information can be found at http://www.lichfieldmercury.co.uk/8203-EXCLUSIVE-8216-Major-victory-8217-Lichfield/story-23025557-detail/story.html.
As part of the https://www.51m.co.uk/, a number of route-wide points that affect all local authorities along the line have been split up. This enables us to ensure that work is not repeated and resources are used in the most effective way. The table below outlines which authorities will lead on which topic.
|Route-wide topic||Lead authority|
|Deficiencies of the ES||Warwickshire CC|
|Noise and vibration (high level)||Chiltern District Council and London Borough (LB) of Camden|
|Highways (specific route-wide issues)||LB of Camden|
|Code of Construction Practice||LB of Camden|
|Minerals and waste, including spoil||Buckinghamshire CC|
|Community and Environment Fund||Buckinghamshire CC|
|Costs to local authorities||Warwickshire CC|
|Business rates relief||Warwickshire CC|
|Socio-economic impacts||LB of Hillingdon, Warwickshire CC|
|Clauses associated with the acquisition of land||LB of Camden, LB of Brent|
|Maintenance of ecological mitigation||LB of Hillingdon|
|Ecology- no net loss||Warwickshire CC|
|Flood risk||Solihull MB|
|Planning/ heritage/ design||LB of Camden|
|Electro-magnetic interference||LB Hillingdon|
|Air quality||LB of Camden|
On the 8 October Buckinghamshire Councils will be hosting an HS2 mini-Summit, with a number of key speakers covering topics including the Select Committee process and progress to date. This event is now full, and everyone who registered should have received a confirmation and agenda. If you are unable to attend you can watch the Summit either live or after the event for up to 6 months at https://buckscc.public-i.tv/core/portal/home.
Health Impacts of HS2 in the Chilterns
A number of residents have recently carried out a pilot survey looking at the current health impacts of HS2. 286 responses were received, with 89.7% reporting deterioration in their health and wellbeing. This included anxiety, stress, insomnia, depression and physical symptoms as a result of the proposal. 16.8% of respondents had sought medical help as a result of these effects.
Anyone who intends to appear in front of the Select Committee regarding health impacts is welcome to use this study as evidence, and residents involved in producing the study are happy to appear as witnesses. The residents are also trying to find a university department or research organisation to take forward the study and conduct an independent, peer reviewed study, on the adverse effects already evident.
If anyone has any university contacts or would like to use the report as part of their evidence please contact Sandra MacDonald by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org.
London to Birmingham walk
We have recently been contacted by freelance writer Tom Jeffreys who is hoping to walk from London to Birmingham along the proposed HS2 route in early November. Tom hopes to meet residents along the route and find out about the various local opinions, with the intention of writing a book on the subject. If you would like to be involved please contact Tom by emailing: email@example.com.
Buckinghamshire County Council HS2 Website
We have now launched our new website which can be found at http://www.buckscc.gov.uk/hs2. We are keen to have feedback on this so that we can ensure it is a useful tool for both people who have a limited knowledge of HS2 as well as those who are more actively involved.
Buckinghamshire County Council HS2 team: