Urgent Request to the Secretary of State – HS2 Compensation and Safeguarding Consultations

Sent: Friday, 25 January 2013, 18:26
Subject: Urgent – HS2 Compensation and Safeguarding Consultations

Dear Secretary of State,

Apologies if this causes you any grief or hassle, but this is a formal request to extend the January 31st deadline for your Department’s current consultation on HS2 safeguarding and compensation. The reason for this request is set out below.

As thousands of residents along the route are potentially affected by HS2 tunneling, the opportunity to submit a fully considered response is being hindered – perhaps deliberately – by your officers’ reluctance to publish a promised report on previous UK tunneling experiences.

This report was first promised by your Department in January 2011 when confirming the HS2 phase 1 route . This report was also promised at the outset of the current safeguarding/compensation consultation. Being unable to locate this report, and it being unavailable at our consultation roadshow in December, our group even travelled several miles out of our way to one of HS2 Ltd’s events (in Wendover) to see if a copy was available for perusal this month (January), but were informed that it was not yet published.

This report should be made available immediately in order to justify HS2 Ltd’s confidence in tunnel construction and the subsequent low compensation for residents, communities, or businesses near the proposed high speed tunnels.

In the absence of this report, I formally request that this consultation be extended until this report has been published and made publically available for a period of 4 weeks. When this report does appear, I would reasonably expect to see the following elements of risk competently analysed:

– the causes of all recent UK tunnel collapses, particularly the one which occurred during the construction of HS1 in Stratford

– a comprehensive analysis of any reported damage to buildings following the construction of the HS1 line and the Jubilee Line, including any compensation that was paid and whether any cases are as yet unresolved

– a hedonic pricing study of residential properties above or near HS1 tunnels, to show why HS2 Ltd think there would be no effect on the property market above or near the HS2 tunnels.

Finally, if an extension will not be granted please offer a full explanation why, in case this needs to be revisited at a later date.

Yours sincerely,

Keri Brennan
On behalf of Hillingdon Against HS2

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