Council could do 'nothing' to stop approved HS2 viaduct submission in Aylesbury Vale

The approval of this submission does not change the Council's overall stance, officials claim.

Tuesday, 15th June 2021, 11:58 am

Bucks Council approved a schedule 17 submission it could do 'nothing' to stop from HS2 Limited and EKFB to build the Wendover Dean Viaduct.

It claims this move doesn't change its stance towards HS2's work within the region, and 'nothing could be done' to stop this specific work.

Councillor Peter Martin, Bucks Council’s deputy cabinet member for HS2 explained: "I want to reassure local residents that by the Council approving this Schedule 17 now, it does not preclude it from refusing the subsequent schedule 17 related to bringing the viaduct into use later on.

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Wendover Dean

"The Council remains fundamentally opposed to the construction of HS2 and has fought the proposals through every stage. Not only do we disagree with the strategic case for the line, but also the devastating environmental damage and the impact of the works on local communities.

"HS2 has permission to construct this viaduct under the HS2 Act 2017 and there is nothing from a planning perspective we can do to stop this work going ahead. But, we have listened and taken on board all the concerns raised by the local groups in Wendover, particularly those about noise, and explored all the options open to us."

The Councillor went on to outline measures taken to limit the disruption caused by the work in Wendover, he added: "Whilst we could not have used noise or future noise as grounds for refusal, HS2 Ltd/EKFB have given the assurance that if they need to re-design and re-submit a revised schedule 17 for the viaduct to mitigate future noise, they have the time and will do so.

"The Council has also worked hard during the pre-application process to secure a number of changes and improvements to the scheme including key input into route-wide barrier design resulting in concealed posts, cranked barriers over 3m high and use of texturing, improvements to the design of the viaduct’s piers and bases, maximised land to be returned to agriculture, minimised the amount of security fencing and minimised hedgerow loss.”

The Wendover Dean viaduct will sit in land to the east of the A413 London Rd, Wendover Dean between the settlements of Wendover and Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire. It will be around 500 metres long with ten spans crossing Durham Farm, a realigned section of Bowood Lane and a private access road to Upper Wendover Dean Farm incorporating the public right of way.

A Council spokesperson further explained why it was unable to block plans by outlining how schedule 17 submissions differ from planning permission applications, adding: "As the HS2 Act has already granted deemed planning permission for proposed work, schedule 17 submissions are not the same as planning applications.

"Schedule 17 of the HS2 Act sets out the conditions of the deemed planning permission and the lorry routes. Schedule 17 puts in place a process for the approval of certain matters relating to the design and construction of the railway.

"This requires that the nominated undertaker (the organisation on whom the powers to carry out the works are conferred) must seek approval of these matters from the relevant authority.

"These matters are:

"-Building works (permanent, above-ground buildings)

"-Other construction works (earthworks, road vehicle parks, screens, transformers,

"-Telecommunications masts, pedestrian accesses, fencing/walls, lighting)

"-Matters ancillary to development (construction camps)

"-Road transport routes (to be used by large goods vehicles)

"-Bringing into use (to ensure that appropriate mitigation has been incorporated)

"-Site restoration"

"The HS2 Act has already granted deemed planning permission for phase one of the railway. Furthermore, the authority cannot refuse work that has been permitted through the HS2 Act, but instead the details of those works."