Massive impact of HS2 set out in new environmental report

Before and after: View of HS2 looking towards Wendover Dean
Before and after: View of HS2 looking towards Wendover Dean
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A huge document detailing the environmental impacts of HS2 has been released by the government in a new consultation.

The draft environmental statement, which looks at each section of phase one of the line between London and Birmingham in great detail, covers HS2’s environmental impact, information on the construction process, noise pollution, mitigation measures and the effect on historic sites.

Sections covering Aylesbury, Wendover and Waddesdon are more than 300 pages alone.

The document confirms Aylesbury Park Golf Club would be destroyed and that the government is in discussions with both Waddesdon Manor and Hartwell House over mitigation options.

The document also outlines:

> New bypass routes at Stoke Mandeville and Waddesdon – as well as the traffic chaos that will be created in some areas as a result of construction.

> Areas to be hit by noise pollution, although HS2 Ltd says it will be putting in noise barriers to minimise the impact.

> Effects on archaeological sites, such as the remains of the demolished Church of St Mary at Stoke Mandeville, which will have to be relocated.

> Wildlife likely to be impacted, such as permanent effects on the bat population in the Hartwell area, with some reptile habitats also forever lost.

> Artists’ impressions of how the line will look on the landscape.

The documents are open for public consultation until July 11.

Though consultation on the environmental impact is not compulsory, the Government says it wants to encourage public engagement in the scheme.

The report is an essential part of the hybrid bill which will go before Parliament which, if passed, will allow the Government to build HS2.

A series of public information events on the draft statement are being held along the route in May and June where people will be able to look at maps of the area affected, read the consultation material and discuss the proposals with the HS2 Ltd team.

HS2 Ltd chief executive Alison Munro said: “HS2 is one of the most significant infrastructure projects undertaken in Britain in many years.

“It is an engine for growth that will bring a significant economic dividend in the decades ahead.

“But we recognise that a project of this scale can’t be delivered without having an environmental effect and causing disruption to people living along the network.

“The consultation we are launching sets out our current understanding of what effects the new line will have and what we propose to do to minimise them.”

Events in the area will be at: Great Missenden Memorial Centre on May 30, Waddesdon village hall on May 31, Calvert Green village hall on June 4, Stoke Mandeville stadium on June 24 and Wendover Memorial Hall on June 29.

All the events are from midday to 8pm, apart from the one in Wendover, which is 9am to 5pm.

You can view the consultation documents on the HS2 Ltd website.