HS2 Update 11 Jan 2015

We have received the following update from the Buckinghamshire County Council HS2 team:

(Note: previous Updates can be found on the Campaigns part of this web site at https://www.amershamsociety.org/topics/hs2/)

Happy New Year!

The Select Committee returned from recess on Monday 5 January to hear petitioners including Warwick District Council, groups and individuals. This update provides information on the Colne Valley site visit; a National Trust event in Aylesbury; and Select Committee appearance information.

Colne Valley Site Visit

Following a lot of back and forth over the last few weeks, it has been confirmed that the Select Committee will visit the Colne Valley on January 15th. This visit will encompass areas of Buckinghamshire in CFA 7 and London Borough of Hillingdon. BCC and SBDC have been working on the itinerary and other preparations with key stakeholders in the area. There has been no suggestion that any other areas of Buckinghamshire will be visited imminently but we will communicate anything as soon as we know it. The current itinerary for the visit put forward for the Colne Valley by the Committee is at http://www.parliament.uk/documents/commons-committees/hs2/Visits/HS2_SC_visit_itinerary_%20Colne%20Valley_15_January_2015.pdf. Unfortunately not all suggestions made by BCC and SBDC were incorporated.

National Trust Information Session: Mitigation for Hartwell Estate and western Aylesbury

On Monday 26th January the National Trust will be running a drop-in session at The Fairford Leys Centre to provide information on the mitigation sought for the Hartwell estate and the west of Aylesbury. The National Trust project team will be on hand to answer any questions and share other findings from the expert noise, landscape and engineering advice received over the last few months. Anyone can visit between 4-7pm and the National Trust will also be joined by Councillor Steven Lambert and representatives from Buckinghamshire County Council. If you have any questions about the event contact Steve Field, HS2 Project Officer for the National Trust, on 07824544201 or Stephen.field@nationaltrust.org.uk.

Spoil Update

The Council is continuing to build its case for no sustainable placement in Buckinghamshire. This includes looking at the feasibility of alternative uses for the material as well as different ways of transferring it across and out of the county. BCC understand that this has bearing on the Chiltern Tunnel petition point as well as mitigation in the Calvert and Steeple Claydon area. We will be working closely with CDC and AVDC to find better solutions to sustainable placement. We will bring an update to the next BCMP.

Fly through of the HS2 route – ‘HS2 Visualisation’

During a Select Committee hearing HS2 Ltd showed a video flyover of the route. We have questioned HS2 as to why this has not been made publicly available online. HS2 have stated reasons including: the nature of the material the publication of this on the Web has not been approved; and that the land take shown may be confusing to those not involved in the Select Committee process. HS2 have stated that they “are able to show the fly through to petitioners either via a laptop in stakeholder meetings, or in the Committee room prior to appearance, this gives petitioners and interested parties the opportunity to ask questions to the relevant people in HS2 with the area knowledge.” BCC will continue to try and get this resource made available online but if you have further queries on this HS2 suggest you contact Lucy Lagerweij (lucy.Lagerweij@hs2.org.uk). Please do let us know how you get on.

Select Committee – learning from petitioners to date

To see how a parish council/action group without professional representation can make a good impression on the committee, then Kingsbury Parish Council and action group’s presentation here on 15 December is worth reading.

Reading transcripts (found at http://www.parliament.uk/documents/commons-committees/hs2/oral-evidence/151214_Uncorrected_pm.pdf) from this weeks’ hearings would suggest that the members of the Select Committee appear to be increasingly critical of repetition and any lack of accuracy within arguments. This blog post (https://hs2andtheenvironment.wordpress.com/2014/12/21/encountering-some-pitfalls-on-the-way/) has some examples and we would draw your attention to transcripts from 5 January at http://www.parliament.uk/documents/commons-committees/hs2/oral-evidence/050114_Uncorrected_Afternoon.pdf when the Balsall Common Village Residents Association was heard.

The committee has heard a lot of cases around compensation in the last week. Each of these had various different circumstances around them and may be of use for petitioners to look at, at http://www.parliament.uk/documents/commons-committees/hs2/oral-evidence/070115_Uncorrected_Morning.pdf.

Buckinghamshire Mitigation and Compensation Panel (BCMP)

The next BCMP meeting will be held on February 4th at 2pm. We will send out invites and agendas to members of the Panel shortly. Please see previous e-updates for details of the panel and its remits.

Drop-in sessions

As previously advertised, we will be holding a number of drop-in sessions at County Hall, Aylesbury. Within reason, we will be able to help with any queries you have about the scheme and/or petitioning. However, following discussions over the last few months, we anticipate that the following may be useful:

  • An opportunity for people to look at/use our hard copy maps;
  • ICT/PowerPoint tips;
  • Specific queries on Select Committee appearance or negotiations;
  • Co-ordination – an opportunity for a few petitioners to get together and discuss a point.

We currently have the following dates booked:

  • 23 January 13.00 – 16.30
  • 27 January 16.00 – 18.30
  • 17 February 15.00 – 18.00

Over the next few weeks, please email Sarah at HS2Blueprint@buckscc.gov.uk if you would like to register your interest. Please state what you would like to cover and how much time you think you would like. If these sessions are popular we will look into other dates too. There has been some request for similar sessions closer to Select Committee appearance – this is certainly something we envisage being possible.

Buckinghamshire County Council HS2 team:

Jackie Copcutt jcopcutt@buckscc.gov.uk Tel: 01296 383793
Alex Day alexday@buckscc.gov.uk Tel: 01296 382409
HS2 Blueprint Mailbox HS2Blueprint@buckscc.gov.uk
BCC HS2 Webpages: http://www.buckscc.gov.uk/environment/hs2/