Lord to make case for an un­der­ground HS2

At­tempt to save area of nat­u­ral beauty to come be­fore sec­ond read­ing

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS - by Jack Abell jack.abell@trin­i­tymir­ror.com Twit­ter: @Jack­_84_A­bell

A MEM­BER of the House of Lords is set to make the case as to why HS2 should be en­tirely buried be­neath the Chilterns Area of Nat­u­ral Beauty (AONB).

Lord Wilf Steven­son of Lit­tle Mis­senden is set to host a brief­ing at the House Of Lords to pro­mote and ex­plain the pro­posal for a long tun­nel through the Chilterns AONB.

He is be­ing sup­ported by lo­cal MPs in­clud­ing Che­sham and Amer­sham’s Ch­eryl Gil­lan, as well as lo­cal au­thor­i­ties, the Chiltern Con­ser­va­tion Board, the Chiltern So­ci­ety and other groups.

The event is timed to take place the be­fore the sec­ond read­ing of the Bill in the House of Lords and be­fore the Lords select com­mit­tee is for­mally es­tab­lished.

Last month, the HS2 hy­brid bill, which gives per­mis­sion for work on con­struc­tion of the first phase of HS2 to be­gin, was passed through the House of Com­mons. It fol­lowed rec­om­men­da­tions from the HS2 select com­mit­tee that the project should not be tun­nelled un­der the Chilterns AONB.

How­ever, pro­test­ers are now fix­ing their at­ten­tion on the House of Lords and pe­ti­tion­ers in favour of the tun­nel have pro­duced a leaflet for the Lords ahead of the Bill’s read­ing.

It says: “The value of the other ben­e­fits to be de­rived from fur­ther tun­nelling has so far been in­ad­e­quately con­sid­ered by the promoter [HS2 Ltd].

“These in­clude the real eco­nomic im­pacts of prop­erty blight, traf­fic con­ges­tion, the im­pact on tourism and other lo­cal busi­nesses, etc.

“Once a proper ac­count is taken of the costs and ben­e­fits of an ex­tended tun­nel, the Chilterns pro­posal will not be ma­te­ri­ally more ex­pen­sive to the na­tion and will bet­ter con­serve the AONB as a na­tional asset for fu­ture gen­er­a­tions.”

HS2 Ltd es­ti­mates that if the Bill passes through the Lords, it will then be given Royal As­sent later this year, clear­ing the way for con­struc­tion of the line to be­gin next year.

Lord sup­port: Ch­eryl Gil­lan MP

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