Wednesday 18 September 2013
Plans for the High Speed 2 railway now include dumping nearly a million cubic metres of spoil on farmland along Misbourne Valley, further scarring the nationally-protected Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Mysteriously, HS2 Ltd omitted this latest news from its draft Environmental Statement which it issued for public consultation only four months ago. They also failed to identify the dumping site on maps showing the land needed to build the railway. However, at the eleventh hour HS2 Ltd engineers have apparently decided they need to dump this mountain of spoil in the heart of the Chilterns, referring to it euphemistically as sustainable placement of surplus excavated material.
According to Mike Fox, Chairman of the Chilterns Conservation Board: “Plainly their interpretation of environmental sustainability doesn’t include scarring a nationally-treasured landscape or protecting valuable farmland.“
“HS2 will not be able to restore such badly affected land back to farming, so their claims that this is a ‘sustainable placement’ are clearly incredible and unsupportable.
Bulldozing that amount of chalk and clay will leave a degraded and unsightly carbuncle which has no place in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.”
“This is just the latest surprise from HS2 Ltd which decided only in June that the railway will need 29 balancing ponds and reservoirs, none of which were mentioned to the Community Forum meetings held during the past two years.”
“Outside of Government HS2 has simply run out of supporters and credibility and should be cancelled now.”