The following was emailed to us by Doreen McIntyre of Harefield Against HS2: reproduced with permission. The files for particular areas can be downloaded from the HS2 Ltd website here.
I’ve started wading through the Colne Valley section, which is full of howlers. Most immediately newsworthy are probably the photomontages which still show the viaduct with no pantograph. The line is also shown emerging through quite dense, undisturbed vegetation to cross the Grand Union Canal on the viaduct while boaters float by blissfully unaware of the 198mph train above their heads.
They have also managed to miss a whole conservation area that sits next to one of their construction sites.
More seriously, their wording of the impact of the demolition of a particular, named, home is just appalling – “not significant”.
The noise contours are fascinating. It seems that HS2 noise will fade rapidly over open water, which must be a first.
I particularly admire their argument that the viaduct won’t detract from the historical character of the area because we already have overhead power lines and the M25 at our outer edge.
Harefield Against HS2
PS Given the extreme variation in the sizes of the file, Stop HS2 think that HS2 Ltd should show the size of the file next to the download link for every file. We hope that they will change their website within a few days.
Being Non-Technical, I started on the Non-Technical Summary (some will say “Get a life”).
This document is named: HS2 Phase One Draft Environmental Statement.
It has a paragraph for each section of line with heading “Environmental effects”.
In each of these, it runs standard blurb:
“The potential environmental effects from
construction and operation of the scheme have been
assessed for xx environmental topics. A full discussion
of this assessment is provided in Volume 2, Report
YY. During construction, all potential effects …. (will be well managed and won’t be a problem – paraphrased).
I particularly like p94:
“During construction, the setting of several heritage assets would experience a significant effect, including listed buildings at Streethay Manor; Ellfield House
and Lodge; and Whittington Hill House and Hill Farm. Significant effects would occur as a result of the demolition and removal of heritage assets,
including parts of three ancient woodland and four important hedgerows; the demolition of Hill Farm;…” Some effect!
Go to p95 and you find:
View looking to the proposed line of route from public right of way near Hill Farm. I know there are two Hill Farms in this section of the route but…
What a view! Especially when sunset will be just that few minutes earlier or sunrise later – depending on your point of view. And is the tunnel for the right of way guaranteed or is it just a mirage?
From maps available neither farm appears to have buildings directly on the track.
How about p91:
“Most of the buildings at Packington Moor Farm would be demolished. The farm is used as a wedding venue and there is also a popular café and shop.
Consequently, this loss would result in a significant effect”.
After knocking down most of the buildings and leaving a couple of fringe structures on either side of the track, the effect might just be the total loss of a viable operation – and a lot of work for commercial surveyors and lawyers – and a lot of compensation. Some effect!
Beware the Draft ES has detrimental changes hidden in some sections such as Aylesbury.
The Design Refinements document has mega issues for Stoke Mandaville and Calvert.
This is a worsening plan for central rural Buckinghamshire for no benefit and gain.
Why in the poorer Britain era is this costly MPs folly not changed to affordable upgrade of the rail Network.
The options are dictated without Community Forum involvement. Why so few are dictating the future for so many who have so much already. The politician plan is wrong for England. HS2 are making up the nighmare as they have proceeded to deceive in parts about cuttings and mitigations and tunnels.