Yesterday, the Department for Transport extended the environmental statement consultation for Additional Provisions 2 to 18th September. This was not out of some change of heart, but because they had missed out information on bat surveys in Bernwood Forest and Radstone.
Bernwood Forest is home to the rare Bechstein’s bats, and the damage from HS2 to the environment where they live has long been of concern to environmentalists.
It is not unusual for HS2 consultations to contain mistakes. The earlier consultation for environmental statement on the entire railway was extended – twice – due to the way it had been handled, with committees of the House of Lords and House of Commons separately ruling it should be longer. This was following a whopping 877 pages being missed off memory sticks which had been sent out to libraries. And hundreds of responses to the original HS2 consultation in 2011 were lost by the Department for Transport.