Dis­ap­pointed by tun­nel de­ci­sion

Vow to con­tinue fight for the fu­ture

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS -

CAM­PAIGN­ERS and res­i­dents of Hare­field have grow­ing con­cerns for their “beau­ti­ful” vil­lage and coun­try­side af­ter the HS2 Se­lect Com­mit­tee re­jected pro­pos­als for a tun­nel ex­ten­sion through to the Colne Val­ley.

Two fea­tures of the area, Hilling­don Out­door Ac­tiv­ity Cen­tre (HOAC) and Hare­field Ma­rina, will be af­fected by the HS2 pro­ject.

HOAC would be “oblit­er­ated” if HS2 goes ahead, said an “ex­tremely dis­ap­pointed” Jeff Creak, prin­ci­pal of (HOAC).

He said: “It shows the lack of any value that is put on chil­dren’s ed­u­ca­tion. The idea that build­ing a train for busi­ness­men to save 10 min­utes but at the same time oblit­er­at­ing the op­por­tu­ni­ties for young peo­ple doesn’t sound like a good bar­gain to me.”

Mr Creak is hop­ing for HS2 Ltd to come back with a vi­able op­tion for a new site, af­ter their sug­ges­tion of mov­ing the cen­tre to a lake in Den­ham, which is half the size, and doesn’t “suit sail­ing at all”.

He added: “We’re still work­ing on other an­gles but un­less some­thing new comes out the fu­ture is not look­ing good.”

Hare­field Ma­rina will lose some of its moor­ings but is keen to keep the busi­ness up and run­ning, what­ever the out­come of HS2.

Mike Musk, founder of Hare­field Ma­rina, is also “very dis­ap­pointed”.

He said: “I find

it re­mark­able that the chair of the se­lect com­mit­tee re­jected Hilling­don coun­cil‘s pe­ti­tion as I thought a very good case was put up.

“It sur­prises me that the com­mit­tee are ac­cept­ing fig­ures about the dif­fer­ence in cost from peo­ple that don’t seem to be able to han­dle fig­ures too well.

“There’ll be some ef­fect but we’ll work to mit­i­gate that. We wanted to see it tun­nelled or to not hap­pen at all. I’d rather the money be saved and it go to bet­ter use.”

Doreen McIntyre, of Hare­field Against HS2, will be “con­tin­u­ing the fight”.

She said: “As far as we’re con­cerned, the game is still very much on. The House of Lords process comes round in a year so that op­tion re­mains open.

“In the mean­time, we have to keep ask­ing ques­tions. The cost of this pro­ject hasn’t gone away, noth­ing has changed. Noth­ing has in­creased the busi­ness case for HS2 as a whole so I think we could go back and ask: What’s the case for HS2?”

n CAM­PAIGN: Mem­bers of the group fight­ing to save Hare­field Ma­rina. Left, Doreen McIntyre

Photos by Katie Lamb www.buyapho­totms.co.uk WL154403

n PROTEST: Graham Adams and Sarah Brooks

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