Newsletter 73 - 4 June 2016

LATEST NEWS FROM CHILTERN COUNTRYSIDE GROUP

Dear supporters,

Everywhere in our beautiful countryside looks lush and green but it would be good if the temperatures could decide which way to go! June has yet to flame but I guess it's early days.

HIGH SPEED 2

Bucks CC HS2 Summit March 2016

On your behalf, members of the CCG Steering Group attended this very useful Summit organised by Bucks CC which focused on petitioning the House of Lords. More information available on BCC website.

CCG Petition against HS2 to the House of Lords

In April 2016, CCG submitted the Group's petition against the HS2 project, as currently proposed, to the House of Lords' Select Committee. The content is very similar to that of our petition to the House of Commons Select Committee. If you would like to see a copy, do please contact us, as currently we will not be publishing the petition on our website.

Locus Standi

CCG challenged by Secretary of State on Locus Standi

In May, along with some 400 other petitioners, including local Members of Parliament, we received a formal letter of objection to our petition from Eversheds, Parliamentary Agents, on behalf of the Promoter - the Secretary of State for Transport.

This means that the Group's Locus Standi ('right to be heard') is challenged by the S of S for Transport on the grounds that:

1. (i) No facts are alleged in the Petition to support any claim by the Petitioners that they sufficiently represent any amenity or other interests affected by the Bill.

(ii) Nor is it the fact, that any such interests which the Petitioner may represent may be adversely affected to a material extent by the provisions of the Bill.

The CCG will be strenuously challenging the Promoter on his objection. The Steering Group is currently putting together what we hope will be a substantive case to demolish this objection. Your thoughts are welcomed but urgently, please!

We are currently negotiating a date for this hearing which will be before the Lords' Select Committee but solely on the issue of Locus Standi. We have a provisional date of Monday 11 July 2016 but will let you know once this is confirmed. So far as we are aware, as with the Commons, there is a public gallery available so that interested parties can view proceedings, so if you fancy a trip to London with an opportunity to see how our democratic system operates, do come!

The Committee will begin to hear other petitioners who have been similarly challenged on Locus Standi from next Monday 6 June 2016. Further information can be found on the Parliamentary website:

http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/lords-select/high-speed-rail-london-west-midlands-bill-select-committee-lords/news-parliament-2015/committee-announces-initial-steps/

If you have been challenged on Locus Standi and would like help in defending this, do please get in touch. We will do our best to offer support in the limited time available to us all.

THE MATHS!

A recent letter in the national press put the cost of constructing HS2 at current figures at £1000 per centimetre! An interesting figure.

VISIT TO THE CHILTERNS BY MEMBERS OF THE HOUSE OF LORDS' SELECT COMMITTEE

On May 25, some members of the Lords' Select Committee visited selected sites of the HS2 route in North Bucks. They travelled by bus with a small number of passengers, were given information packs with maps by HS2 Ltd and held no public meetings. Further information can be found on the Bucks CC website.

CHILTERN HS2 REVIEW GROUP

We're advised by the Chilterns Conservation Board (whose Locus Standi thankfully has not been challenged!) that a new Chiltern HS2 Review Group has been set up. Participants in this are local Chiltern authorities affected by HS2, Natural England, the Dept for Transport, HS2 Ltd and the CCB. The remit of the Group is to discuss the design of the HS2 scheme as it passes through the Chilterns and how those impacts can be best mitigated.

This Group will meet regularly, having held an initial meeting in April. There is a budget of £3m to 'support identification and delivery of local measures over and above those proposed in the Environmental Statement or related detailed design'. This may include works outside the limits of the HS2 Hybrid Bill.

This is good news, although in comparison to the HS2 budget, £3m seems a modest amount. The CCB will seek to affirm the nationally protected status of the AONB and what this should mean in minimising the outrageous impact of the HS2 scheme on its landscape and attributes.

PROMOTER'S RESPONSE DOCUMENTS NOW BEING SENT OUT

HS2 Ltd are now sending out the Promoter's Response Documents (PRD) to petitioners. These are important papers which give the position of the Promoter on the various points raised in the petition and clearly is essential reading when preparing to appear before the Select Committee.

We will let you know when CCG receives this, but as we're challenged on Locus Standi, it would not be sent to us until our status is clarified.

LONDON LUTON AIRPORT

The summer season has started with more flights being scheduled in those anti-social hours from 23.00 until 1.00am, so do please contact the airport directly to register a complaint whenever you're disturbed. It's really important to do this as it helps build a more realistic picture of where noise pollution occurs, what kind of aircraft frequently cause greater noise intrusion and gives opportunity to work with the airport on minimising this. See how to complain on the CCG website if you're not sure what to do or directly to the airport at noise@ltn.aero.

CCB AND CCG MEETING WITH LLA MANAGEMENT IN JULY

The CCG, together with the CCB, will be meeting with LLA senior management and the airport's environmental team in July. This will be an important opportunity to find out more about the airport's expansion proposals and to suggest potential environmental improvements to operations. There are also key changes proposed for Heathrow arrivals which have potential to reduce their impact on LLA's operations, so much to discuss.

The CCG welcomes your feedback, thoughts and suggestions on any campaign matters, so do please let us have these asap and for LLA, certainly by the end of the 1st week of July. Many thanks.

Good wishes to you all and thanks for your continued support and interest in CCG's campaigns to protect our beloved Chilterns and its AONB.

Kind regards,

Steering Group,

Chiltern Countryside Group

www.chilterncountrysidegroup.org