AVDC passes 'unanimous' motion to write to government, in a bid to stall HS2 works

Councillor John Chilver raised a motion at Council last night that all enabling works for HS2 in Aylesbury Vale should be paused until the government issue an official 'notice to proceed'.

The motion passed unanimously, and Council leader Angela Macpherson will now be writing to the Government, Buckinghamshire MPs and to Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs cabinet member Micheal Gove.

The Bucks Herald says #EnoughIsEnough!

The Bucks Herald says #EnoughIsEnough!

The motion was put forward by John Chilver, member for Steeple Claydon.

He said: "The motion was made to express mine and local residents extreme concern about the environmental damage taking place in Steeple Claydon.

"Vegetation clearance in the peak of nesting season is at best premature, at worst completely unnecessary.

"I'd like to pay tribute to local activism in the vale, with residents signing petitions, organising peaceful protests and even taking part in maintaining a nesting watch in order to minimise environmental damage."

Aylesbury Vale councillor John Chilver

Aylesbury Vale councillor John Chilver

"People are very concerned and upset about the netting of hedgerows, it's very harmful for birds and shouldn't happen.

"I also put it forward because of concerns at the lack of planning. They may be clearing much more land than they need.

"There are no designs or plans for the future maintenance infrastructure depot they are building - so how can they minimise the damage?

"The nesting period is only 6 months long, why can't they wait until winter?"

Amendments made to the motion included council leader Angela Macpherson writing to all Buckinghamshire MPs, and inviting HS2 LTD CEO Mark Thurston to Buckinghamshire to discuss residents concerns with the project.

The notice to proceed was set back to December 2019 earlier this year, amid rising speculation about the ballooning costs of the high speed rail project.

The order, which would have unlocked up to £27 billion for the first phase of the line, was due to be issued in June.

However the vale has seen significant works already started, including preliminary excavation in Great Missenden.

You can read more about this story here: https://www.bucksherald.co.uk/news/if-this-is-what-it-s-like-now-how-bad-will-it-get-great-missenden-councillor-hits-out-at-hs2-works-1-8834440

The motion which was to be debated, said: "This Council proposes that the leader should write to Government to request that all enabling works for HS2 in Aylesbury Vale be paused until the Notice to Proceed to main works contractors has been approved."

The motion states that it should not be given until: "management capability, affordability of contracts, and robustness of revised business cases can all be proven.

"We see no reason why Aylesbury Vale District should suffer significant disruption and long term environmental disruption until detailed design costs have been approved.

"We also ask that HS2 LTD significantly improves the effectiveness of its community engagement with those impacted by the line."