HS2 update – May 2021

This Month
Our recent effort has revolved around Buckinghamshire Council (BC) and the Schedule 17 (S17) planning notice for the Wendover Dean flyover. The WG are working alongside WHS2 to ensure that this first application is dealt with correctly. There is still confusion about the WPC’s role in the S17 process. To ensure that we continue to influence the process we are using the official Planning Portal and working to support BC officers in their efforts. Because of the Hybrid Bill process that the High Speed Rail Act was formed by, planning permission is deemed to be granted by Parliament. BC are the planning authority but, because of this deemed consent, can only refuse applications on distinct local issues; issues that show a failure to keep promises made in the Act.

So, considering all of this, that BC has refused to accept the Lorry Movement element of the Local Transport Management Plan and has asked for more time and more information to clarify elements of the S17 shows that all of the community stakeholders are holding HS2 to account.

Community Questions
I’ve been talking to Fusion and EKFB about questions raised by the community.

Road Barn Farm. What is the timetable for demolition works at this site? This house and barn are much loved landmarks and many people have asked for clarity on their fate. This is in the hands of EKFB.

Lorries. Reports of HS2 related HGV’s entering or passing through the village are increasing. Can you confirm that lorry movements are tracked and recorded and that HS2/EKFB/Fusion vehicles are identifiable as parliament expects? Is that data available for community audit?

Lorries 2. There are reports that lorry identifiers are inadequate. I understand that signs on the dashboard of vehicles are being used and that these are controlled by the driver. Is that the case?
I’ve also asked the BC assurance team to push for answers on the two lorries questions.

Lord Berkeley’s latest, rather stiff, letter to Andrew Stephenson MP has not yet received a reply. This is the letter that refutes claims that EKFB advised against our Tunnel Proposal. We’re also awaiting a response to the WPC Chairman, Cllr. Sheila Bulpett’s letter to the Prime Minister.

Stand Up to HS2
As the work gains pace it becomes more and more important that all of us stand up to HS2. The little battles about construction noise, traffic congestion, mud and dust are where the difference between bearable and unbearable impacts will be decided. Let’s complain. Complain about everything and let them away with nothing. How is covered here….www.hs2.org.uk/how-to-complain/

Tom Walsh, Lead on HS2 for Wendover PC