Report to reveal £750m cultural, environmental and social cost of HS2 on Chilterns

Before and after: View of HS2 looking towards Wendover Dean
Before and after: View of HS2 looking towards Wendover Dean

A new report is set to reveal the cultural, environmental and social impact of HS2 on the Chilterns could be as high as £750 million.

The report, commissioned by Conserve the Chilterns and Countryside, will argue the case for a tunnel underneath the entire Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Following analysis, it will argue the proposed scheme will have a detriment valued at between £500m and £750m on the landscape, agriculture, property, tourism and health in the area.

HS2 says a tunnel under the entire Chilterns will cost £330m more than the proposed scheme, but campaigners say this report will show that cost is far outweighed by the effect of the £43 billion line.

Chesham and Amersham MP Cheryl Gillan said: “This new report clearly demonstrates the cultural, environmental and social impacts of the current HS2 route on the Chilterns AONB.

“When these non-market effects are taken into account it is more than enough to justify a cost neutral tunnel to fully protect the Chilterns AONB.”

The report will be launched at the House of Commons at 2.30pm on Monday.