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Residents’ fears over HS2 flood impact

David Lidington MP

David Lidington MP

Residents living on the Willows estate are fearful of the HS2 development adding to their woes according to Aylesbury MP David Lidington.

Mr Lidington wrote to the Secretary of State for Transport to express residents’ concerns that the route of the HS2 line close to their homes will make the risk of flooding even worse.

The letter read: “The Willows estate is built on the floodplain of the River Thame system. It is also that very area of Aylesbury that lies close to the HS2 route.

“Those residents who were flooded out or frightened of being flooded are the same people who received the misleading letter from HS2 Limited that led them to believe that their homes were about to be compulsorily purchased for electrical supply works connected with the rail project.”

He added: “You will not be surprised therefore to hear that residents on the estate are very fearful that the constriction and operation of HS2 across the floodplain close to their homes will add significantly to the flood risk on the estate.

“It is indisputable that both construction and operation will require farmland to be taken which for now soaks up surface water and which ought at act as natural flood protection for my constituents.”

Mr Lidington has also written to the Secretary of State for Transport about redirecting money from the project to be used for flood defences.

Mr Lidington wrote the letter on behalf of several constituents who had contacted him to suggest that the money currently earmarked to be spent on HS2 would be better spent on protecting the Vale against future flooding.

He received a response which said that the concerns had been forwarded to the Secretary of State for Environment who would contact Mr Lidington with more information about investment in flood defences.

A petition calling for HS2 to be stopped and the UK’s drainage systems to be improved has been signed by 402 people.

You can view and sign the petition here

And Conservative Cheryl Gillan, whose Chesham and Amersham constituency is on the HS2 route, tabled a question to parliament asking whether areas close to where HS2 is proposed had been flooded recently.

She said: “My priorities would be modernising and making the most of existing transport corridors.

“The popular and brave thing to do would be to pull HS2 at this stage and look at regional transport solutions.”

Minister Dan Rogerson responded that from ‘information currently available it does not appear that the safeguarded area for HS2 has been significantly flooded during the last two months’.

However, he added that HS2 crosses more than 100 watercourses, ‘each of which will have a degree of flood risk associated with them’.

“The scale of that risk will depend on the precise alignment of the route. At present this has not been fully assessed, nor has an assessment been made for the phase two routes.”

 

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