HS2 environmental report inadequate

Monday 15 July 2013

HS2 Ltd’s report on the environmental impacts of the HS2 rail line, which has been published in draft form, is completely inadequate says the Chilterns Conservation Board.

In its response to the draft Environmental Statement on HS2, the Board describes the report as lacking in detail, with little evidence that the route has been designed to avoid major damage to the nationally-protected Chilterns AONB. The Environmental Statement fails to identify the full scale of devastation that will be caused by HS2 in the Chilterns.

The Board objects to the development of High Speed 2 because of the significant and irreversible damage it would do to the Chilterns.  This report by HS2 Ltd gives no reassurance that any of this damage will be avoided.

Despite this lack of proper assessment the design of route appears to be set and looks unlikely to be changed.

Comments made by the Board include:

  • The impact of noise from construction of the line and trains is not dealt with properly
  • The report claims that woodland will be reinstated – this is impossible
  • There is little recognition that local businesses will be badly affected
  • The report fails to recognise the historic character of the Chilterns countryside

The Conservation Board believes that if the HS2 line goes ahead the only acceptable solution is for the route to be in a bored tunnel for the entire length as it passes under the Chilterns AONB.

The final report on the environmental impacts of HS2 is likely to be published towards the end of the year.


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