Last Friday the Chiltern Society issued a report on the experience of HS2 construction in the AONB, in the eight months following Notice to Proceed. This contains numerous examples of environmental destruction, the lack of community engagement, and persistent un-neighbourly behaviour, which we have come to associate with this project .
The Government also responded to the recent petition Stop work on HS2 immediately and hold a new vote to repeal the legislation , promising “a clear commitment to greater transparency”, and “a range of measures to mitigate and compensate for environmental impacts”. Our report illustrates a few of the environmental impacts, and the scale of mitigation which would be required to compensate for them. We note that there are no new promises regarding engagement and neighbourliness in the response, or acknowledgement of the failures to date in this area.
We hope that the report will have some influence when the petition is debated in Parliament.