Council challenges planning inspector on six 'detrimental' HS2 lorry route decisions including roads in Wendover

The council says HS2 plans would have an 'enormous' impact on Aylesbury Vale roads.

Friday, 12th November 2021, 4:04 pm
Updated Monday, 15th November 2021, 9:17 am

Bucks Council is taking a planning inspector to High Court over six proposed HS2 lorry routes put forward for its rail work.

Three routes in Wendover are among the six proposed roads which council officials have taken exception to.

The council has issued a judicial review challenging decisions made by planning inspectors regarding lorry route approvals submitted by HS2.

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HS2 site in Dunsmore

Councillor Steven Broadbent said: "The decision to go ahead and take these appeals to the High Court is the right thing to do for our residents and communities.

"Following Counsel advice, we believe we have a strong reason to challenge the decisions of the Inspector in allowing the lorry routes to be used which will have an enormous and detrimental impact on our local roads.

"The council had sought further information considered necessary to carry out our statutory duty to assess the impacts of the proposed routes.”

HS2 had appealed against the non-determination of two of the applications by the council – those relating to Brackley Road and the Wendover Green Tunnel. The appeals were allowed by the Planning Inspector; the Council has lodged challenges against these decisions.

A separate Planning Inspector has dealt with the other four appeals relating to:

-Small Dean Lane, Wendover to the Strategic Road Network

-Small Dean Viaduct, Wendover to the Strategic Road Network

-Chiltern Tunnel North Portal to the Strategic Road Network, and

-Three worksites at Little Missenden, Chesham and the North Portal to the Strategic Road Network

The planning inspector again allowed all four of these appeals.

A Bucks Council spokesperson said: "The council has submitted the claims and is waiting to receive leave to appeal, i.e. to take these matters to the High Court to quash the decisions, and the court decision is pending."

An HS2 Ltd spokesperson said: “Under the HS2 Act 2017 we are obliged to seek approval for key lorry route from Buckinghamshire Council. Our approach was backed by the planning inspector appointed to determine the appeals.

“We are working hard to reduce disruption for local communities and road users during the construction of HS2. This includes creating our own temporary internal access roads to get heavy vehicles onto site, and using freight trains to deliver materials, but we also need to use certain main roads.

"That is why we are also delivering a programme of junction improvements across the county and have made a £3.9m road safety fund available to the council.”