Committee of MPs visit area affected by route
ACOMMITTEE of MPs has visited Hillingdon to see for themselves parts of the borough that could be destroyed if HS2 goes ahead.
The group visited sites in and around the Colne Valley, in Denham, before moving into areas of Harefield, Ickenham and Ruislip.
They visited The Old Orchard pub, in Park Lane, Harefield, to witness the breathtaking view across the Colne Valley and were met by staff and supporters of Hillingdon Outdoor Activities Centre, in Dews Lane, which will have to close and re-locate elsewhere if the line is built, as the viaduct will effectively slice through its main lake.
HOAC president Jeff Creak said: “It was a whistle-stop tour and I think they need to come down here for half an hour and really see what will be missed, but it was good that the committee came and met us.
“If they are going to do anything they have got to get on with it. We have been told that HS2 is looking to start building here in summer 2016.
“That affects us now because we have schools and groups who want to bring kids here and we can’t tell them if we are able to accommodate them.”
Mr Creak explained that the cost to bring HOAC’s current facilities to a new site would be £10million – which does not include the cost of acquiring new land.
“I think it would take around two years to get it up to the standard we have here,” he said.
Alternative sites to move to included Broadwater Lake, which has now been dismissed by HS2 because of its designation as a Site of Special Scientific Interest, and Denham Quarry.
Majorie Fox, of Peerless Drive, Harefield, said: “We need them to see HOAC today and see all that will be destroyed and why we need a tunnel under this area.
“We want them to take notice of the studies from Hillingdon Council that say a tunnel is viable and take that seriously,” she said.
The committee then went on to Ickenham, down country roads that will be gridlocked by the
n TAKING A LOOK: The MPs during their visit to Hillingdon and (left) protesters Jean Timms, Gordon Cocks and Grahame Buxton
Photos by Grant Humphreys www.buyaphototms.co.uk WL150184