PEERS RE­JECT FUR­THER MA­JOR CHANGES FOR HS2

Mit­i­ga­tion sug­ges­tions turned down by House of Lords

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - FRONT PAGE - by Tom Her­bert tom.her­bert@trin­i­tymir­ror.com Twit­ter: @TRHer­bert

ANTI-HS2 politi­cians have slammed the find­ings pub­lished by the House of Lords Select Com­mit­tee in its lat­est re­port.

Che­sham and Amer­sham MP Cheryl Gil­lan and in­de­pen­dent Chiltern District Coun­cil­lor for Great Mis­senden Seb Berry have ex­pressed their dis­may that the House of Lords HS2 Select Com­mit­tee Spe­cial Re­port plans for HS2 did not rec­om­mend any fur­ther large-scale changes.

The 130-page re­port, pub­lished in De­cem­ber, rec­om­mended against a fur­ther ex­ten­sion to the Chilterns tun­nel, the move­ment of the haul road at Great Mis­senden, and an in­de­pen­dent re­view of tun­nel cost­ings.

Mrs Gil­lan said: “I was dis­ap­pointed that no sig­nif­i­cant changes were rec­om­mended by the com­mit­tee for the con­stituency and the Chilterns Area of Out­stand­ing Nat­u­ral Beauty (AONB), despite my best ef­forts and those of my ded­i­cated con­stituents and lo­cal au­thor­i­ties.

“The com­mu­ni­ties of Great Mis­senden, South Heath and Wen­dover re­main heav­ily af­fected, and it is a shame that this ar­chaic and out­dated leg­isla­tive sys­tem meant that fur­ther al­ter­ations could not be made, in­clud­ing no ad­di­tional pro­vi­sions.”

Mr Berry said: “Pre­dictably, the re­port is very dis­mis­sive of le­git­i­mate lo­cal ob­jec­tions.

“This comes on top of a deeply flawed pe­ti­tion process.

“Tory min­is­ters will no doubt be de­lighted that their plans to push on with plonk­ing the tun­nel por­tal in the pro­tected AONB at South Heath, with all of the mis­ery that will bring to lo­cal peo­ple, has been given the green light again by the com­mit­tee.”

Trans­port min­is­ter An­drew Jones said: “I wel­come the re­port from the Lords Select Com­mit­tee, and thank mem­bers for their sig­nif­i­cant time and ef­forts over the course of the hear­ings.

“We will con­sider care­fully the rec­om­men­da­tions in the re­port and re­spond shortly.

“I also recog­nise the de­mands this process has placed on pe­ti­tion­ers.

“We have lis­tened to those af­fected by the scheme and in many cases we have been able to put in place ar­range­ments to ad­dress their con- cerns. This re­port marks an­other sig­nif­i­cant step towards get­ting spades in the ground for this trans­for­ma­tional project.”

Still on track: HS2 lo­ca­tions across Bucks in­clude Leather Lane, The Lee

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