Wendover HS2 Mitigation Action Group update – May 2021
Wendover Dean Viaduct –
A Blot On Our Landscape
What’s the status?
At press date, a Schedule 17(3) application (reference 21/00860/HS2) has been made by HS2 Ltd to Buckinghamshire Council for the Wendover Dean Viaduct, who have until 23 April to respond to it.
Unlike a normal planning application, they cannot object to it. However, the council review the submission and request changes where the local environment, flood risk and amenities (including highways) are affected, where reasonably practicable. They also check that Undertakings and Assurances in the act have been met.
This is the first significant application north of the Chiltern portal and sets a precedent for all other up-line submissions in our area, so it’s really key.
What’s the problem?
HS2 Ltd have history (for example, Hillingdon & recent Construction Traffic Plans) where they have attempted to get away with providing as little detail as possible, thus avoiding detailed scrutiny necessary. Luckily, Buckinghamshire Council have rejected these planning permissions and HS2’s contractors must revert with more detailed planning information in order to proceed.
Unfortunately, for Wendover Dean Viaduct, they appear to be playing the same tricks again. Significant details, in particular around noise, construction traffic impacts and drainage are missing or changed from the original plans. For instance, noise barriers have been subtly reduced with the resultant increased impact of noise disturbance, and the impact on whole areas (for example, Dunsmore) has not even been evaluated.
What’s our solution?
Partnered with Wendover Parish Council, we have been supporting the Buckinghamshire Council officers to provide the necessary technical response challenges. This work has been brilliantly supported by our Councillors who have raised awareness of the shortfalls with Buckinghamshire Council executives, who ultimately make the response, on behalf of the community, back to EKFB.
We are asking that the Council insist that HS2 follow the rules set down in the Act, provide a proper level of detail and make the reasonable mitigations called for which we have provided.
How can you help?
If you would like to know more about HS2 plans for Wendover Dean Viaduct, check out: https://tinyurl.com/WDean
You can support us in two ways: by clicking on our website www.whs2.org and signing petitions/completing our mitigation surveys and by writing to our Councillors www.buckinghamshire.gov.uk, to ask them to support our mitigation solutions.
What else is happening?
It’s impossible to miss all the enabling works going on around us, but here’s a rundown of all the works that we have been made aware of:
– Nash Lee Road – concrete factory preparation, new road junction, ground investigations and diversion enabling works.
– Ellesborough Road, Bacombe Lane – diversion enabling works (removal of hedges and trees), link road to Bacombe Lane, footpath closures & diversions, new road junction.
– Small Dean Lane and A413 (incl Road Barn Farm) – network rail site clearance (removal of trees), new road junction, A413 traffic management and general preparation work.
– Parish & Town Councillor meetings with HS2 contractors Align & EKFB. These meetings were held in March to share latest information & updates; we are hoping these will continue over the coming months.
– Wendover & Villages Community Board mtg – was held in March, HS2 was discussed see https://youtu.be/ctbH1Xrisxw for EKFB presentation – the next board meeting is in June.
– HS2 held limited virtual one to one sessions on 15 April – WHS2 are trying to persuade them to hold further sessions going forwards.
For more information about HS2 you can contact the HS2 Helpdesk team on 08081 434 434 or email : email@example.com.