HS2 = The Rape of the Chilterns
The HS2 Select Committee hearings resumed on Monday 7th September with three days of presentations by Petitioners from Wendover and surrounding villages in the Chilterns. The overwhelming theme throughout was the demand for the Select Committee to recommend a tunnel right through the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) to replace the present proposal of six miles of embankments and viaducts from South Heath to Wendover, which would devastate the area.
There were many vivid descriptions of the harm the present proposal would bring: unbearable noise and visual intrusion, traffic chaos, damage to the local heritage, serious effect on health and many others. But by far the most dramatic was the description by one Petitioner of the present proposal as “the Rape of the Chilterns”. He justified this unexpected use of the word by referring to the dictionary definition of “rape” – “the violation and despoliation of the countryside”. He continued: “This is precisely what the present proposal does, it violates and despoils the Chilterns AONB”. He finished by directly addressing members of the Select Committee: “Gentlemen, do you want to go down in history as complicit in the Rape of the Chilterns?”
The Select Committee has the power to recommend changes to the present proposal to improve the situation for those adversely affected by the scheme. It is hard to imagine how Petitioners could have described any more plainly the devastation which HS2 would cause to the Chilterns.
1. Further information from Antony Chapman. 01296 623730
2. To see this live go to parliamentlive.tv Committees HS2 Monday 7th September at approx. 20.55.
Issued by Wendover HS2 action group. www.wendoverhs2.wordpress.com
15th September 2015
This is a message for all petitioners from Wendover and the surrounding areas.
You may recall that we were informed by David Walker of Winckworth Sherwood that petitioners should notify him by 21st August as to whether they wished to associate with others or appear on their own. Mr Walker has now confirmed that if you do not notify him of your decision by that date you will not be denied a hearing, so there is no compulsion to reply to him.
4. not to appear or be represented at all.
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May 21 – maybe
The proposed date is 21 May. The visit is organised by the County Council not us.
If and when the Select Committee turns up, we’d like a large and very polite crowds with lots of banners and placards saying:
There is not point in making points against the project as a whole. Osbourne thinks it will gain the conservatives votes “up north”, good luck with that one. The visit is about mitigation and emphasising that a tunnel is worthwhile despite the extra immediate cash cost.
This site will have updates as more information becomes available.
Wendover is a hotspot of petitions. We have put them in, soon, we will have to deliver.
For petitioners, there is a separate page with useful information. We expect hearings in maybe late June or July or probably in September. Petioners only get 4 weeks notice so you need to work on what to say. It is worthwhile combining with others if you have similar concerns. This will get you an better reception by the MPs. However, you have put in the forms and paid your £20 so if you want to be heard, you will be. If you do not want to appear personally (hearings are in the Houses of Parliament), you need a Roll B agent, ask us!