HS2 Update 6 Aug 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/)

This E-update looks at Select Committee appearances that have been taking place on the Chilterns Long Tunnel and the decisions announced on this. It also sets out dates for drop-in sessions organised by the County Council.

Select Committee update

The Select Committee is now in recess for the summer. They are scheduled to return on the 7 September 2015. The draft programme for September can be found at http://www.parliament.uk/documents/commons-committees/hs2/Programme/2015-16/revised-september-programme-hs2.pdf and the draft programme for October can be found at http://www.parliament.uk/documents/commons-committees/hs2/Programme/2015-16/29.07.15-HS2-Committee-(revised)-Programme-October-2015.pdf.

Select Committee announcement on the Chilterns Tunnel

On the 21 July 2015 the Select Committee announced that they did not support a case for a long tunnel through the Chilterns area of outstanding natural beauty. On the case for an extension of the bored tunnel they did believe a case had been made to extend to the northern end of the South Heath Green Tunnel.

Also, the Committee has asked for an extension of the currently proposed green tunnel in Wendover in a southwards direction, unless HS2 report back with very convincing further mitigation.

The full statement can be found at http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/high-speed-rail-london-west-midlands-bill-select-committee-commons/news-parliament-20151/210715-announcement-on-tunnel/.

The councils of Buckinghamshire and partners including the Chilterns Conservation Board are disappointed with the Committees decision. We believe a strong case for the Chilterns Long Tunnel was put forward to the committee. Statements from the leaders of Buckinghamshire County Council, Chiltern District Council and the Chilterns Conservation Board can be found at http://www.buckscc.gov.uk/environment/hs2/news/. The councils believe it is now even more important that the remaining individuals and groups have their petitions heard by the Committee.

Petitioners who were scheduled to be heard in September will continue to be supported by the councils. To help these petitioners, the evidence that has already been heard can be found at http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/high-speed-rail-london-west-midlands-bill-select-committee-commons/news-parliament-20151/chiltern-evidence/ Petitioners should ensure they do repeat arguments but say how they will be directly and personally affected.

Relocation of the Heathrow Express Depot (HEx)

As part of the Additional Provisions 2, HS2 Ltd has decided to move the Heathrow Express Depot from its current location at Old Oak Common in London, to make room for HS2’s own depot and regeneration of the area. The proposed new site for HEx is in Langley in Slough Borough but this will have significant traffic impact on Iver, which is in South Bucks District. The County and District are considering whether the construction impacts warrant HS2 Ltd building a relief road for Iver.
An information exhibition is being held by HS2 Ltd on Tuesday 18 August, 2pm to 8pm at East Berkshire College, Langley Campus, Station Rd, Slough SL3 8BY.

More details can be found in the letter from HS2 Ltd at http://www.buckscc.gov.uk/media/3324635/Invitation-letter-2-.pdf.

HS2 Fly-through

A video of the HS2 Fly-through has now been published online. This is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TJwDKiOBNmQ#t=17.

Supplementary Environmental Statement and Additional Provisions 2

On the 14 July, HS2 Ltd published the second set of Additional Provisions (AP2) and the Supplementary Environmental Statement (SES). The Supplementary Environmental Statement adds information to the original Environmental Statement, including additional surveys. The Additional Provisions represent changes to the Hybrid Bill and Environmental Statement; please note that only the Additional Provisions can be petitioned upon.

1. Additional Provision 2 and Environmental Statement

2. Supplementary Environmental Statement

Calvert Mitigation Plan – Information exhibitions

As part of the mitigation sought from the HS2 scheme, the County Council is working with stakeholders including Aylesbury Vale District Council and the parish councils in the Calvert/ Steeple Claydon area, to put forward a mitigation masterplan for the area. This draws together a number of the asks identified by communities at workshops held in late 2014 and early 2015. We have planned information exhibitions for the public to drop in and speak to the County Council and partners about these proposals.

The dates and locations of these exhibitions are as follows:

  • Thursday 13 August (12.30- 17.30)- Calvert Green Community Hall, Cotswolds Way, Calvert Green, Buckinghamshire MK18 2FJ
  • Thursday 27 August (12.30- 17.30)- Steeple Claydon Village Hall, Queen Catherine Rd, Steeple Claydon, Buckingham MK18 2PY

The six areas of the Calvert Mitigation Plan are:

  • The relocation of the FCC sidings to the south of Sheephouse Wood
  • A new station on East West Rail at Steeple Claydon
  • No ‘sustainable placement’ at Shepherds Furze Farm
  • Extended screening and better visual mitigation for the Infrastructure Maintenance Depot (IMD)
  • Revised IMD lighting operations, with particular reference to reducing visual impact at night
  • Enhanced footpath, bridleway and cycle networks in the surrounding area.

Letter from House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee to Secretary of State for Transport

The House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee published its first report on High Speed 2 on the 10 March 2015 (found at http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201415/ldselect/ldeconaf/134/13402.htm). This report concluded that,

‘The government has not made a convincing case for why this particular project should go ahead. The analysis presented to justify the project is seriously deficient’.

The government responded to this on the 2 July, this report can be found at http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/lords-select/economic-affairs-committee/inquiries/parliament-2010/economic-case-for-hs2/?type=48#pnlPublicationFilter. This response raised significant questions in terms of the economic case put forward by the Secretary of State. A number of questions have therefore been asked by the chairman of the Lords Committee Lord Hollick to the Secretary of State. This letter can be found at http://www.parliament.uk/documents/lords-committees/economic-affairs/Economic-case-for-HS2/20150721%20Chairman%20to%20Secretary%20of%20State%20for%20Transport.pdf

Buckinghamshire County Council Drop-in Sessions

We will be running drop-in sessions for petitioners ahead of the Select Committee hearings that will take place from September onwards. The purpose of these meetings is as follows:

  • Assistance creating a Power-point presentation on a laptop, or
  • Going over a Power-Point presentation, or
  • Dry-run of appearance including a few mock questions, or
  • General Q&A on appearing

All petitioners are invited to these sessions. All sessions will be held in the HS2 Room, Porters Lodge, County Offices, Aylesbury, HP20 1UY

  • 11th August 2015 between 15.00 and 19.00
  • 20th August 2015 between 15.00 and 18.00
  • 24th August 2015 between 15.00 and 19.00
  • 15th September 2015 between 15.00 and 18.00
  • 24th September 2015 between 15.00 and 19.00

Please confirm your attendance by emailing Sarah at HS2Blueprint@buckscc.gov.uk. Please set out your preferred time slot at either the half hour or hour intervals. Please also indicate whether you would like to book half an hour or an hour. We will do our best to give you your preferred time slot.

In order to make these sessions productive please also set out in a few bullet points the topics you would like to cover with the team.

Buckinghamshire Compensation and Mitigation Panel (BCMP)

The BCMP meeting planned for 24 June was postponed due to the proximity to the visits. At the meeting on 28 July, BCMP members considered the Select Committee’s announcement that they did not support the Chiltern Long Tunnel ask. The BCMP decided that we should collectively still petition for an extended tunnel, and that when presenting evidence to the Committee, individual petitioners were advised to explain how HS2 will affect them, their families and their day to day lives.

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 or you are not receiving feedback from these meetings, it is important that you let us know. Local County Councillors are also invited.

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/