MP to put HS2 tun­nel case to se­lect com­mit­tee

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS -

CH­ERYL Gil­lan is set to present her pe­ti­tion to the HS2 se­lect com­mit­tee later this month.

Mrs Gil­lan, MP for Che­sham and Amer­sham, has been a long time op­po­nent of the con­tro­ver­sial rail pro­ject, and will high­light to the com­mit­tee what she be­lieves are the se­vere en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pacts it will have on the Chilterns.

The com­mit­tee, made up of MPs from dif­fer­ent par­ties, vis­ited the Chilterns last year to see first hand the ar­eas af­fected, and has the power to rec­om­mend to the govern­ment that changes are made to ex­ist­ing plans for HS2.

Mrs Gil­lan said: “I look for­ward to mak­ing my pre­sen­ta­tion to the se­lect com­mit­tee and use this op­por­tu­nity to con­tinue to em­pha­sise the scale and grav­ity of the im­pacts of HS2 in the Chilterns.

“I am grate­ful to the com­mit­tee for their work so far, es­pe­cially their rec­om­men­da­tion for an ex­tended tun­nel to South Heath, how­ever, I will be mak­ing the point strongly that we still need more tun­nelling to give the Area of Out­stand­ing Nat­u­ral Beauty the pro­tec­tion it de­serves. The job is only half done.”

The se­lect com­mit­tee said last year that it was un­likely to be per­suaded that fur­ther tun­nelling in the Chilterns area is nec­es­sary, but this has not stopped cam­paign­ers in the area from con­tin­u­ing to push for it. They want to see a tun­nel un­der the en­tire area in or­der to min­imise the im­pact of the pro­ject, and Mrs Gil­lan has also backed this.

She added: “I have been in con­tact with lo­cal au­thor­i­ties, parish coun­cils and com­mu­nity groups through­out this process, and aim to sum­marise con­cerns from af­fected res­i­dents from across the con­stituency in my pre­sen­ta­tion.

“I will be ask­ing that, if HS2 does go ahead, it is done in the right way with the high­est lev­els of com­mu­nity and en­vi­ron­men­tal mit­i­ga­tion, fair com­pen­sa­tion for those af­fected and con­sid­er­a­tion for lo­cal res­i­dents.

“I will also be press­ing the Se­lect Com­mit­tee to rec­om­mend an in­de­pen­dent reg­u­la­tor to over­see the con­struc­tion of HS2. My con­stituents, and all those on the route of HS2, should have re­as­sur­ance that this pro­ject is be­ing built to the high­est stan­dards, and that if HS2 does not do what it has agreed to do, there are proper checks and bal­ances in place to rec­tify this.”

Mrs Gil­lan will be pre­sent­ing her pe­ti­tions to the com­mit­tee at the House of Com­mons on Jan­uary 28.

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