Leaders letter calling for halt to HS2 works after firm ploughs ahead at Steeple Claydon
Leaders of Bucks County Council (BCC) and Aylesbury Vale District Council (AVDC) have expressed their concerns again to Transport Minister Grant Shapps, over the department's attitude towards HS2 preparatory works.
Conservative leaders Martin Tett (BCC) and Angela Macpherson (AVDC) wrote the letter after attending a meeting with HS2 Ltd, in which the firm confirmed that it was to plough ahead with destructive works before the outcome of the Government review which could scrap the scheme entirely.
The letter, which was sent on October 3, read: "Thank you for your response to our previous letters regarding HS2 and the Overvee Review.
We would like to bring to you attention an urgent situation.
"As leaders of Aylesbury Vale District Council and Buckinghamshire County Council, we just left a senior engagement meeting with HS2 Ltd.
"At this, they confirmed that works would start today to clear some 500 acres of countryside at Steeple Claydon in preparation of HS2.
"This work in advance of both the Notice To Proceed (NTP) and the outcome of the Oakervee Review is devastating news to the local community and will leave what local people have described as a vast "moonscape" between Steeple Claydon and Twyford villages.
"Even at this late stage we would urge you to half this work clearing historic trees, hedgerows and woodland until the future of this project is confirmed."
This newspaper has led the HS2: Enough Is Enough Campaign and echoes the call for the Government to halt all works until the outcome of the review is known. If the scheme is found to unviable and is scrapped, untold damage to homes, habitats, areas of natural beauty and local businesses could be wrought for no reason at all.