Changes in Water Abstraction licences

Affinity Water has made an application to increase its water abstraction at Watford. This is to ensure that water supply can be maintained if HS2 adversely impacts the water supply in the Misbourne Valley. However by increasing the water abstraction at Watford, this could impact the flow of water in the River Gade.

Have your say at:–2/affinity-water-limited-application-made-to-abstract-water

But be quick, the final date for responding is 26th Feb 2021.

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“Area of Neighbourly Behaviour” report – HS2

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.

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Leader of the Council calls out HS2 Limited’s attempts to keep local residents informed

proposals to Parliament.  Faced with the delivery phase of this unwanted project, the least we should expect is considerate, well communicated implementation.  However, despite the assurances from HS2 that they will be a “good neighbour” we are not currently experiencing that.  Instead HS2 issues are diverting tax-payers’ resources away from delivering vital services during a pandemic, as we are having to deal with countless local issues which are caused, and not adequately addressed, by HS2 Ltd and its contractors.

The Council has historically opposed the HS2 project and continues to do so for many valid reasons.  It dissects the county and provides no tangible benefits to Buckinghamshire.  We have all the dis-benefits of a large-scale construction project and none of the benefits, with the damage being done to our environment and the visual impact completely irreversible.”

At the meeting of the TSC on 6 January, it’s second six monthly oral evidence session on the progress of HS2, evidence was given by Phil Gaskin, Chairman of Calvert Green Parish Council, an area hugely impacted by HS2. He stated “that there is no quick and simple way of resolving issues with HS2 Ltd.”

Both Greg Smith MP for Buckingham and Mr Gaskin raised the need for independent oversight of the project and suggested the implementation of local sheriff style appointments, to be told by Mark Thurston, HS2’s CEO that these roles were already in existence. No-one has seen these officers in Buckinghamshire.

Councillor Tett added: “On this basis I urge the Select Committee to ensure that there is effective monitoring of the contractors and HS2 Ltd’s decisions to implement the project differently to the proposals set out to Parliament, and for Buckinghamshire Council to be appropriately re-imbursed for the additional pressures which the project implementation is putting on the authority.”

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Petition to hold a Public Vote on HS2

A Petition has been set up calling for the Government to told a Public Vote as to whether to continue with HS2.

See link here.

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Amersham Vent Shaft Consultation

HS2 have launched a consultation seeking views on their proposed design for the Amersham Vent Shaft, to be constructed beside the A404 at the junction with Whielden Lane. At some point it has been transformed from a boring Green box into a ‘Key Design Element’, and will be a landmark feature on the road into Amersham, if HS2 have their way. Is that what we want? See this page for  links to the design  and some comments on the consultation questions.

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Is the HS2 twin-bore Chiltern Tunnel Design Safe?

The Society has written to Andrew Stephenson MP, Minister for HS2 asking for confirmation that the Chiltern Tunnel design will meet the Operational Safety Requirements.

We have engaged with HS2 Ltd over the past 10 years to establish whether the current Chiltern Tunnel Design is safe. We have asked a number of questions regarding evacuation procedures for which we have not received answers. Recently we were informed that they were not in a position to answer our questions.

If the design is not operationally safe, HS2 will not be able to run 18 trains per hour each way at 320kph. This would severely impact the Benefit/Cost Ratio, which is already poor.

The key issue is, if a train has to stop in a tunnel, the 1,100 people on board would need to be moved to a ‘Place of Safety’ prior to be being transferred to a Final Safe Place. Currently this requires the passengers to move to the ‘other tunnel’ via cross passages to stand on a platform 1.6m wide for up to two hours while waiting for already full trains to arrive to remove them.

HS2 – Letter to A Stephenson Jul 20

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HS2 archaeologists uncover Iron Age murder mystery and Stonehenge-style monument at Wellwick Farm

Archaeologists working on the HS2 project in Buckinghamshire have made an eerie discovery, unearthing a skeleton believed to be a murder victim from the Iron Age. Other discoveries at the Wellwick Farm site near Wendover span over 4,000 years of human history, and include a circular timber monument resembling Stonehenge.

See link to the full article.

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