THE boss of HS2 has hit back at claims that digging a tunnel through the Chilterns will create a ‘large spoil dump’ – saying the soil will ‘be dealt with adjacent to the M25’ and away from the Chilterns.
In response anti-HS2 campaigners have criticised the plan, claiming it is ‘literally dumping the problem on someone else’ and needs explanation.
Concern was raised by Aylesbury MP David Lidington, who wrote to HS2 Ltd to ask what will happen to the soil that is being dug up.
In response HS2 chief executive Alison Munro said: “Our proposals do not envisage a ‘large spoil dump’ in the Chilterns. Much of the topsoil from the line of the route would be reused in a sympathetic landscaping to minimise the visual and noise effects of the new line.
“The vast majority of spoil in the Chilterns (relating to the construction of the 13.5km long twin bore Chiltern tunnel) will be dealt with adjacent to the M25 and thus outside of the AONB designation. We have detailed our approach and findings, including on tunnelling, in a series of reports which will be published shortly.”
Penny Gaines, of Quainton, social media director of the Stop HS2 campaign group, said: “I think people are frustrated that they don’t know what is happening. When we compare with HS1 in Kent, the people there said that they were surprised by how disruptive the building of HS1 was.
“Obviously being an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty it is protected legally. It is all very well saying we will just go and dump the soil somewhere else. But that is really just literally dumping the problem on someone else.”
UPDATE: HS2 released the following statement on Thursday, March 8: “It is not our intention to leave excavated materials from the Chiltern’s tunnel along the route of the M25 but we are considering using the motorway for transporting material away from the site. Like similar infrastructure projects we will be developing a strategy for handling all such material that will be based on the detailed design, engineering and environmental work that is currently being carried out.”