‘Seeking the best, if it comes to the worst’: HS2 demands put forward

editorial image
4
Have your say

A list of demands to mitigate against the impact of HS2, including a new museum, football pitches, Steeple Claydon train station and Waddesdon bypass, has been put forward by Bucks politicians.

The demands were unveiled at a summit in Aylesbury yesterday (Tuesday). It was originally scheduled to take place after the outcome of the judicial review was known, but that is still pending.

In a report strapped, ‘Seeking the best, if it comes to the worst’, Buckinghamshire County Council chairman Martin Tett reaffirmed his resistance to a project which will do significent damage to much of Aylesbury Vale.

He said: “Nevertheless, throughout we have always stated that we want the very best possible outcome for the residents of the county. We have therefore sought to work with HS2 Ltd to ensure that, should the scheme proceed, the very best migitgation is put in place.”

The list of demands are endorsed by Bucks’ county and district councils, the Chilterns Conservation Board, National Trust and National Farmers Union, among others.

Demands include:

WENDOVER

> Extended tunnel from Mantles Wood to Nash Lee Road

> Mitigation of vibration impacts on all listed buildings

> Screening of ventilation shafts

> Preservation of all walking routes in any tunnel gap

AYLESBURY AND STOKE MANDEVILLE

> Provision of wetland habitat to compensate for impacts on Aylesbury Sewage Works local wildlife site

> Work at St Mary’s Church medieval ruins in Stoke Mandeville to include excavation, storage of Christian remains at consecrated local site and a suitable memorial

> Investigation into Roman settlement at Fleet Marston

> Realignment of A4010 Risborough Road north of its current alignment. The revised route ties into Marsh (west) while Marsh Lane east is severed, providing access only. The route continues west of HS2 before crossing close to Risborough rail line crossing. It then ties into Lower Road B4443 between Aylesbury and Stoke Mandeville

> Money towards the improvement of the ancient remains at Quarrendon

> Sensitive realignment of A418 to minimise impacts on residents

> Footpath network to be maintained, providing enhanced links west of Aylesbury and Stoke Mandeville

> Creation of a ‘linear’ park between the HS2 line and the western edge of Aylesbury

> A contribution and endowment for the creation and ongoing upkeep of a museum in Aylesbury housing archaeological finds from digs

> National grid pylons to be buried underground

> Landscape bunding around maintenance/ recovery loop

> Minimal light pollution in dark areas

> Adequate noise protection from 24 hour operation

WADDESDON AND QUAINTON

> Improvement to the A41/ Waddesdon Hill junction and respecting setting of Grand Lodge

> Realignment of A41 to create bypass to the north Waddesdon alongside proposed HS2 route

> Realignment of Station Road at Quainton to ensure it maintains its current alignment and enables access to Bucks Railway Centre

> Create lowland meadow habitat as compensation for loss of land at Grendon, Doddershall Meadows and Finemere Wood Meadows

> Create a green tunnel in this area

> Additional woodland planting on the margins of Sheephouse Wood to compensate land loss there

> Habitat compensation to mitigate impact on rare Bechstein’s bat

> Mature vegetation on north east boundary of Waddesdon Manor to be protected and maintained during construction and operation

> New routes at Fleet Marston to create off-road cycleway between Aylesbury and Waddesdon south of HS2

CALVERT AND STEEPLE CLAYDON

> A net gain in wet grassland in the Calvert area

> Create an alternative nature reserve with visitor access as compensation for impact at Calvert Jubilee BBOWT Nature Reserve

> Mitigation of impact of maintenance depot at Steeple Claydon including a landscape bund, sensitive lighting and noise control

> A new rail station at Steeple Claydon on new east-west route between Aylesbury and Milton Keynes

THE VISION

Extracts from the ‘legacy’ chapter of the document, detailing what Bucks will ideally be like once HS2 is built.

> ‘The Chilterns AONB is protected by a tunnel that streches from the M25 to Wendover’.

> ‘Approaching Stoke Mandeville, the maintenance sidings are effectively screened from view both locally and from the key viewpoints’

> ‘Around Aylesbury, improved road links manage traffic and congestion impacts to secure journey time reliability’

> ‘Archaeological investigations...have yielded important and exciting finds attracting both national media and academic attention. Finds are retained locally with the best examples displayed in a new museum/ visitor centre’

> ‘Residents west of Aylesbury are protected by landscape bunds and revised landforms that offer effective noise and visual protection. New leisure and recreation opportunities are offered by a linear park that maintains connections with the nearby countryside; new or improved games pitches; and a reconfigured golf course and nature reserve. The grounds of Hartwell House have been appropriately preserved and protected...and the hotel continues to support Aylesbury’s economy’

> ‘The landscape close to Fleet Marston and Waddesdon is protected by the realignment of the A41 north of Waddesdon village...also offering traffic relief...as a result visitors spend more time in the village’

> ‘The Railway Centre (in Quainton) attracts many more visitors wishing to experience both old and new, facilitated by a visitor viewing area for the high speed line and links fostered with the National Railway Centre

> The Steeple Claydon halt (railway station) provides a sustainable means of travel for the local population, tourists and employees of the Infrastructure Maintenance Depot’

> ‘The rail ine has helped enhance the standard of living within Buckinghamshire, not least by improvements to the natural and built environment. Opportunity areas along the line benefits from improved amenities and connectivity and are thriving. Local employment opportunities have increased within Buckinghamshire, and local businesses have prospered. Individual villages and towns within Buckinghamshire have grown economically with the standard of living favourable compared to the rest of England’

> Noise impacts from the rail line and other sources do not excessively impact on the everyday lives of both rural and urban residents’

> ‘We demand that HS2 Ltd and the Department for Transport take responsibility for all adverse impacts of the line. Once mitigation and compensation measures are in place, HS2 should not have any significant negative impacts on Buckinghamshire and indeed should show betterment wherever possible’