Wendover HS2 Mitigation Action Group – December 2021
Another big push for noise mitigation
We are not giving up on convincing those in power that the current scheme is ill-thought-through and damaging. At the November meeting, we received match-funding from Wendover Parish Council to help further our mitigation plans; we have a pragmatic solution for the 1000+ homes which will directly suffer constant noise disturbance on an ongoing basis once the trains arrive. We are working closely with the support of our MP, Rob Butler, to ensure that HS2’s contractors, EKFB, fully consider our solution of a single retaining wall. We are pleased to report that at time of going to press EKFB have agreed to study and cost our proposal for due consideration. We remain hopeful that our proposal will be included in their upcoming planning submission (schedule 17) for the North Cutting. This progress is particularly important given the recent news that a tunnel for Wendover shall not be forthcoming with Rob Butler withdrawing his support for such a solution.
Traffic Appeal overturned but Buckinghamshire Council push back
The Planning Inspector has concluded that the proposed lorry route from Amersham to the “Green Tunnel North Portal Compound” beside the Wendover bypass should go ahead. He notes that the peak traffic movements could “rise to 536 Large Goods Vehicle movements per day”.
We have shown Richard Lumley, the new Buckinghamshire Council Service Director responsible for HS2, around the local area and pointed out the implications on the A413. As such, we are very pleased to learn that Bucks Council has decided to launch a Judicial Review (JR) against the four outstanding HS2 route applications relating to the A355/413. A JR is a particularly important aspect of the constitutional settlement in the UK, it is a process and court case where a judge or judges decide whether a public body has behaved lawfully. Buckinghamshire Council received six construction route applications and previously challenged two relating to Brackley Rd and Wendover Green Tunnel, but they are now challenging all six of the planning inspector’s decisions as this is in the best interests of all residents who are being badly affected by HS2-related HGVs using inappropriate local roads.
Remember, if you witness poor behaviour or see a lorry in Wendover, take a picture and send to email@example.com. We will use it to assist Rob Butler and Buckinghamshire Council in their negotiations with HS2.
Demise of Ellesborough Cottages
The demolition of the cottages on Ellesborough Road is now imminent (at the time of going to press), with the gardens behind the properties being cleared to allow access for the contractors. Resulting spoil from the demolition should be removed and used on the new access road that has been established to the bypass in the field behind the (now closed) Cricket Ground. See pictures, right.
Public Rights of Way under threat
Rather distressingly, we received at very short notice the news that a large number of key Public Rights of Way (PRoWs) were being shut. These are very popular walking routes for residents and visitors in and around our town and worse still, alternative walking routes were not forthcoming. We have asked the Parish Council to intervene to pressure Buckinghamshire Council to resolve this urgently, as the lack of notice for walkers was insufficient, in our view, and the proposed diverted route was also insufficient. We remain very concerned that the few PRoWs which remain open are under threat of over-use and long-term damage. We are also very concerned that these highly popular PRoWs will never re-open, and this cannot be allowed to happen. You can see the map of where these are on our website www.whs2.org.
Community mitigation funds
There are a small number of projects being successfully received for Wendover & surrounding villages. We encourage all groups to submit their pitches for mitigation funding. We have been supporting individuals who have been badly affected by HS2 plans, with some success. If you have ideas and suggestions that would mitigate the community impact, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll assist however we can.
Small Dean Piling
Following the recent test piling, HS2 were planning to “sheet pile” a retaining wall next to the Chiltern Line at Small Dean where the viaduct will cross over. Sheet pile walls are retaining walls constructed to retain earth, water, or any other filling materials. These walls are thinner in section compared to masonry walls and are generally used for waterfront structures. This planned activity has been delayed on safety grounds due to the protestors in the tunnels in the vicinity. See more about sheet piling on page 15 in the December print edition of Wendover News.