Wendover Parish Council HS2 Update – December 2021

The working group is continuing to work with Lord Berkeley to apply pressure for the consideration of the mined tunnel. His letter to HS2 Minister Andrew Stephenson was rebuffed again, but there are still serious concerns about the processes that have been used to decide against the tunnel. Lord Berkeley is keen to ask oral questions in the House rather than send more letters, in the hope of a better response. Our Freedom of Information request in respect of the history of the mined tunnel feasibility study by KPMG has been rejected again, so we are still unable to access that report.

At an all-parish meeting held with Sir Mark Worthington and Stephen Burke (Chair, The Lee Parish Council) it was made clear that all contractors up and down the line are not fulfilling their engagement role sufficiently and are tending to pay lip service to concerns of all Parishes, so we are not alone. Bucks Council have launched a judicial review for the recent traffic applications which are different to those in the original Environmental Statement, in the hope that HS2 Ltd will start respecting those statements which should serve to protect us from issues not in the original Bill.

Rob Butler is keen for us to consider other mitigation options and Wendover HS2 Mitigation Group have been given some financial support to further their alternatives to alleviate noise issues in North Wendover.

And so, it continues, the closure of public footpaths is being investigated and in a recent conversation with EKFB, they are trying to offer alternative routes, some of which may have to be on roads, to join up the network. The Sheet piling works next to the railway were delayed until the protestors were evicted from their tunnel so weekend closures can now be re-planned. The demolition of Ellesborough Rd cottages is scheduled for the end of November, as I write.

Other Schedule 17(3) planning applications for the Small Dean Viaduct, cut and cover tunnel and various cuttings are now overdue and unlikely to appear before Christmas. When these are received, we will be able to see exactly what EKFB and HS2 Ltd have planned for Wendover!
Sheila Bulpett – Chair, WPC HS2 Working Group