We have received the following update from the Buckinghamshire County Council HS2 team
The outcomes of the recent locus standi challenges have now been released, with both HS2 Action Alliance and Stop HS2 being granted the right to be heard. This update provides further information on the Select Committee process, information on the support we will continue to provide, and details on consultation and inquiries now open.
Inquiry into the economic case for HS2
The House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee has launched an inquiry into the economic case for the development of HS2, with the intention of finding out what the real economic impacts will be, who will benefit, and who might lose out. The Committee are inviting evidence on areas including whether there is an economic case for HS2; what factors should be included when making the economic case; what the likely benefits to the Midlands, North of England and Scotland are; weather London be the main beneficiary; how HS2 should operate; and what fairs should be paid to travel on HS2. Anyone who can comment on the broad economic case is welcome to summit written evidence, which must be submitted by the 15 September. Further information can be found at http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/lords-select/economic-affairs-committee/news/hs2-inquiry-launch/
Complaints raised by HS2 Action Alliance and Hillingdon Council against the UK Government and the European Commission regarding HS2 will be heard by a UN Committee. The complainants state that a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) should have been carried out prior to public consultation. This would have required HS2 Ltd to consider a wider range of alternatives. The Aarhus Committee has ruled that the case should receive a full hearing in Geneva. Further information can be found at http://www.hs2actionalliance.org/2014/07/aarhus-committee-finds-hs2aa-hillingdon-hs2-environmental-complaint/.
Locus Standi challenges
All locus standi challenges have now been heard, and the committee has allowed locus standi to both Stop HS2 and HS2 Action Alliance on route-wide issues. All other petitioners who were challenged have had their locus standi disallowed.
Local area meetings
Thank you to everyone who has attended our most recent local area meetings. We hope you found these useful, and appreciate all your comments and feedback. We hope to hold another round of local area meetings in September and will ensure all comments and feedback is considered to ensure these are as productive as possible.
Buckinghamshire Councils would like to invite you to attend a summit meeting in preparation for the Select Committee process, which will cover topics including evidence collection, appearing before the Select Committee, and how we are aiming to achieve the best possible outcome for residents. This will take place on 8 October between 10.00-13.00 at the Oculus (Aylesbury Vale District Council). Please emailHS2Blueprint@buckscc.gov.uk if you wish to attend and a full programme will be sent in due course.
Traffic and transport update
We have uploaded a copy of HS2’s proposed construction route map at http://www.transportforbucks.net/Uploads/Files/HS2%20Construction%20Routing.pdf. This map is no more recent than the Environmental Statement which was published in May but this is the updated map of proposed routes at this county scale. Buckinghamshire County Council has petitioned against a number of these routes and is assessing alternative routes where applicable. We hope to continue working with communities to discuss the most preferable construction routes should the proposal go ahead and recognise that this is an area of considerable concern for many areas of the county.
Appearing before the Select Committee
We are in the process of creating a frequently asked questions guide on appearing before the Select Committee. This includes information on key people involved in the process; how to prepare; key tips for your presentation; and evidence collection. If you have any questions please send these to the email below and we will add these to the guide.
We have recently updated our website and will continue to do so on a regular basis. The website can be found at http://www.transportforbucks.net/High-Speed-2.aspx, and we encourage you to check it regularly.
Despite being scheduled for September, the Select Committee heard a presentation on land and property compensation on 21 July. The fact that advanced notice of this tutorial was not given means that those who would have liked to attend or contribute were unable to. As a result important factors such as blight were not mentioned. The presentation can be found at http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Main/Player.aspx?meetingId=15861, and the transcript at http://www.parliament.uk/documents/commons-committees/hs2/oral-evidence/210714%20Uncorected%20Transcript.pdf.
As mentioned in our last update a further property consultation is now open and will be until 30 September 2014. This includes details of an alternative cash offer and a homeowner payment scheme. Full details on the compensation proposal, including maps showing the various zones in different colours, can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/hs2-property-consultation-2014, and responses to the consultation can be submitted to https://hs2propertyconsultation2014.dialoguebydesign.net/.
We want to ensure we get the right information out to the correct people. If you have not received this update directly and would like to, please let us know using the email address below. If you would no longer like to receive these emails please also let us know and we will remove your details from our contact list.
Buckinghamshire County Council HS2 team: