HS2 Update 25 Apr 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/)

With the general election campaign now in progress the Select Committee has stopped hearing petitioners. This update will report on the Select Committee programme, the Select Committee visit to Buckinghamshire and the Aylesbury Vale District Council vote on the Chilterns Long Tunnel.

Highways update

The Council is updating the Buckinghamshire Mitigation and Compensation Panel monthly with an update on highways petitioning. Please contact your local county councillor or your local representative for further details.

To find your local County Councillor please see the Bucks CC website at https://democracy.buckscc.gov.uk/mgMemberIndex.aspx?bcr=1. If you are unsure who your local representative is please contact the team at HS2Blueprint@buckscc.gov.uk

Select Committee update

Following the dissolution of Parliament, Select Committee hearings have also been adjourned. Depending on the outcome of the election it is possible that the membership of the Select Committee will change, however it should be noted that all members are standing for re-election.
The majorities these MPs hold is listed below:

  • Robert Syms (Conservative- Poole) – 15.9%
  • Sir Peter Bottomley (Conservative- Worthing West) – 23.9%
  • Henry Bellingham (Conservative- North West Norfolk) – 15.4%
  • Yasmin Qureshi (Labour- Bolton South East) – 21.8%
  • Ian Mearns (Labour- Gateshead) – 32.7%
  • Michael Thornton (Liberal Democrat- Eastleigh) – 5.26% from February 2013 by-election.

It should be noted that at the last hearing of the Select Committee in March, the Chair, Robert Syms, stated that the Committee expected to reconvene in June, subject to the election results. Upon reconvening it is understood that the remaining petitioners from the Colne Valley, including local authorities, will be heard.

Select Committee Visits to Buckinghamshire

As stated in the last e-update there are now three provisional dates for the Select Committee visits to Buckinghamshire. These are broken down by MP constituency as follows:

  • 20 May, Amersham Constituency including CFAs 8 and 9),
  • 21 May, Aylesbury Constituency including CFAs 10 and 11)
  • 22 May, Buckingham Constituency including CFAs 12, 13 and 14)

As you may know from previous updates, the county council, district councils and other partner organisations including Chilterns Conservation Board and National Trust have been working with Buckinghamshire MPs on the itinerary for these visits. Thank you to everyone who has contributed to this work, from our workshops last summer and more recently through BCMP. The itinerary also needs to be acceptable to HS2 Ltd and we have had constructive dialogue with them on this. Ultimately the stops on the itinerary need to be approved by the Clerk of the Committee along with the Committee itself and the future MPs of Buckinghamshire. The Clerk is aiming to publish a draft of the itinerary online next week.

Aylesbury Vale District Council vote on the Chilterns Long Tunnel

On the 15 April 2015, Aylesbury Vale District Council voted in favour of supporting the Chilterns Long Tunnel, by a vote of 23 to 20 with 9 abstentions. The tunnel was supported for mitigation reasons only. Concerns were raised about the impact on Stoke Mandeville.

Cultural Heritage and HS2 (Bucks Archaeological Society Event)

Following a successful public open day last autumn, which the Buckinghamshire Archaeological Society arranged at the site of Stoke Mandeville’s old church and graveyard (which under current plans would be entirely removed by construction of HS2), the Society has now arranged a day conference on HS2 and Buckinghamshire’s heritage. This will be on Saturday 16 May 2015, starting at 9.10am and ending at 5pm.

Apart from substantial areas of historic landscape, the line would remove, among other locations:

  • deposits that have previously produced Ice Age mammal remains,
  • part of Grim’s Ditch – an Iron Age boundary,
  • a section of a small Roman town fronting Akeman Street and the adjoining medieval settlement area of Fleet Marston,
  • a large slice of the former medieval village of Doddershall, and
  • land adjacent to the former Chetwode Priory which probably includes an early watermill site.

Ten specialists will examine the impact that construction would have. ‘Threat or opportunity?’ will be the issue addressed, since if destruction does become inevitable, as some compensation at least, detailed advance investigation of such sites would potentially increase our understanding of the county’s past.

The conference will be at Weston Turville village hall. Advance ticket purchase is necessary; the cost is £10 for admission or £16 to include a buffet lunch. Tickets are available by post from Buckinghamshire Archaeological Society, c/o County Museum Church Street, Aylesbury HP20 2QP; cheques payable to the society, or by purchase at the County Museum. See http://www.bucksas.org.uk for further details. A flyer with form incorporated can be found on the news page of this web site at A flyer with form incorporated is on the News page of this web site at https://www.amershamsociety.org/news/.

Buckinghamshire Compensation and Mitigation Panel (BCMP)

The Buckinghamshire Mitigation and Compensation Panel (BCMP) met on Thursday 2 April. This group provides a forum for communities to voice concerns on HS2 issues and for the Council to feedback information to the communities. On the 2nd we discussed the Select Committee Visit, highways petitioning and petitioning strategy.

Each CFA area has a community representative on the panel who should be feeding back discussions had at BCMP. If you would like to know who your representative is, please let us know. Local County Councillors are also invited.
The next meeting will take place on May 13th 2pm.

Buckinghamshire County Council HS2 team:

Jackie Copcutt jcopcutt@buckscc.gov.uk Tel: 01296 383793
Darl Sweetland dsweetland@bucksccc.gov.uk Tel: 01296 383463
HS2 Blueprint Mailbox HS2Blueprint@buckscc.gov.uk
BCC HS2 Webpages: http://www.buckscc.gov.uk/environment/hs2/