Massive housing growth combined with HS2’s construction is set to disrupt residents’ lives ‘very significantly’, a council boss has warned MPs.
Bucks County Council leader Martin Tett told the HS2 Select Committee that the impact of the rail line should not be assessed in isolation, but rather alongside homes development and other infrastructure projects.
His warning came as it was revealed the district council has earmarked 31,000 new homes for the Vale up to 2033.
Many of these will be in Aylesbury, where residents will also have to put up with years of misery as HS2 is constructed.
Mr Tett told the committee, which has the power to order changes to the scheme: “If you’re a resident you’re going to see absolutely massive amounts of construction going on for the next 10 years.
“That is going to disrupt lives very significantly.”
Mr Tett was speaking on Monday as the select committee prepares to hear from a range of witnesses about HS2’s impact on Bucks and Aylesbury Vale over the coming weeks.
He also called for the government to substantially increase the £30m it has put aside as a community fund designed to benefit places impacted by HS2 by paying for things such as playgrounds, village halls and local energy schemes.
The £30m ‘goes nowhere near’ the amount needed he said, suggesting a figure closer to £150m.
Mr Tett said this would create a ‘legacy’ from the line so HS2 can be ‘welcomed’ rather than ‘despised’.
Aylesbury Vale District Council’s cabinet will discuss the emerging Vale of Aylesbury Local Plan when it meets on October 15, prior to it going out to public consultation.
The issues and options document gives a ‘provisional’ figure of 31,000 new homes in the Vale before 2033. It does not set out where these homes should go, but rather gives a number of broad options which the council wants the public’s feedback on. These include building an extension to Milton Keynes and Bletchley, creating a new settlement of 4,000 homes – or both.