Newsletter 86 - 27 July 2019

Latest news from Chiltern Countryside Group on HS2, London Luton & Heathrow airports

Dear supporters,

Do hope you're all enjoying the summer weather and the greenery all around us. Even with last week's record-breaking temperatures and now the most welcome rain (tough if you're having a celebration though!) our precious countryside is looking wonderful, particularly with the abundance of wild flowers along the hedgerows.

The CCG Steering Group, on your behalf, continues to uphold its mission statement by keeping a close watch on developments with High Speed 2, Luton and Heathrow airports, all of which impact on the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.


HEATHROW AIRPORT EXPANSION

Your only chance to have your say on the proposals to expand Heathrow, with a new runway, operational changes and management of growth.

Expansion of Heathrow Airport (Third Runway) Development Consent Order 201X Section 47 Planning Act 2008 - Statement of Community Consultation.

The project covers new development within and beyond the expanded airport boundary, a new north west runway, new terminal facilities, diversion of the M25, further 'elements' associated with or ancillary to the Airport's expansion and changes to existing operational methods at the Airport.

This will allow Heathrow to increase capacity by a minimum of 10 million extra passengers per annum; this is a nationally significant infrastructure project under section 23 of the above Act.

This significant Consultation, which as it should, includes an Preliminary Environmental Impact Report,

runs from 18 June 2019 until 11.55pm on 13 September 2019.

An Environmental Impact Assessment Statement will be incorporated as part of the proposed application when submitted.

Full details and how to respond can be found:

aec.heathrowconsultation.com or freephone 0800 307 7996.

Consultation Public Events

Consultation Public Events with sound demos are currently running at potentially impacted locations. The nearest to the Chilterns now are:

Beaconsfield - Thursday 1 August 2-8pm at The Fitzwilliam Centre, HP9 2JW.

Colnbrook - Saturday 10 August 10am-4.00pm at Colnbrook Village Hall, SL3 0RF.

As we all know, the more responses the better, particularly from potentially affected individuals, so please do make every effort to respond, contact your MP, Councillors and other local interested parties to ensure as broad a response as possible.


LONDON LUTON AIRPORT

LLOAL Planning Application April 2019 still awaiting decision.

In April, London Luton Airport Operators Ltd. submitted a Planning Application (19/00428/EIA) to Luton Borough Council (also owners of the airfield) which seeks to vary Condition 10 of the Planning Consent for expansion of the airport. This Condition sets noise contour limits, both day and night, which are key restraints on community impact.

On your behalf, CCG has objected in the strongest possible terms to this application, which if permitted, would allow an increase in noise emissions. We understand that LLAOL are already breaching the noise contour limits and are seeking this variation to satisfy the Planning Condition, rather than implementing ways to reduce noise and meet the set contour limits.

You will find the CCG response on our website and you might have heard us take part in a Three Counties Radio programme debating the issue. As we were interviewed alongside the CEO of Luton Chamber of Commerce, it was an interesting session.

CCG understands that the Planning Application is still awaiting decision.

Noise complaints

Do please continue to complain whenever you are disturbed by aircraft noise, unable to sleep or enjoy your home and garden, whether this is by LLA or Heathrow ops. Contact details and info on how to do this are on the relevant airport's website. It is worth doing as all complaints are logged and measured in the offending airport's quarterly statistical reports. These are so useful when campaigning against expansion, changes to flight paths etc....


HIGH SPEED 2

No definite news but the Steering Group remain hopeful that with a new Prime Minister and many changes in Cabinet and wider Government, Parliament will reach the sensible conclusion, as most of us have for a good while, that this project is not in the national interests, is way beyond any realistic budget, is environmentally poor and will not resolve many of the national rail/transport infrastructure problems which desperately need investment and strategic planning.

What you can do to help the sensible conclusion to happen:

  • Write to your MP, especially if they now hold a different position in Parliament - for example both David Lidington, MP for Aylesbury and David Gauke, MP for South West Herts are no longer in Cabinet & will sit on the backbenches.
  • Write to Boris Johnson as new PM and the new Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps
  • Andrew Gilligan, journalist of numerous anti-HS2 national press articles and critic of the project on many levels, has been appointed by the PM as Transport Advisor. He would be a good person to write to, as well!
  • Sign this petition & complete the survey:
  1. 'With "notice to proceed" delayed again, halt all HS2 enabling work immediately' at - https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/255413
  2. The Conservatives are asking the electorate what they think are the most important issues at - https://views.conservatives.com/priorities

Spiralling HS2 budget costs

What has been reported (Guardian and Financial Times July 2019) is that the Dept for Transport has been warned by Allan Cook, chairman of High Speed 2, 'the high-speed line from London [to Birmingham] cannot be finished within the official £56bn budget'. The FT reports that according to Cook's preliminary findings, final costs could rise to between £70 and £85bn. Phase 1 is scheduled to operate from 2026.

Review of HS2 by former chairman

In a move before his appointment as PM last week, Boris Johnson appointed Douglas Oakervee to head up a review of HS2 and the project's costs. We hope that Mr. Oakervee, a former chairman of HS2 Ltd.,will find his previous experience helps to produce robust and impartial assessment for this massive call on UK taxpayers and national budgets.

No contractors willing to build station at Birmingham

HS2 Ltd. has also announced it has been unsuccessful in finding a contractor willing to take on the risks associated with the £435m projected cost for Curzon Street station in Birmingham. The company is currently re-thinking its procurement processes. Another strong indicator of the uncertainty with which the project is viewed even within those industries which theoretically might benefit.

We certainly live in interesting times. Do enjoy a relaxing summer and if you can join with us in campaigning through one or maybe more of the above ways to protect our precious environment, that would be fantastic.

We always welcome hearing from you, our supporters, so do get in touch with your views and comments.


Steering Group

Chiltern Countryside Group

www.chilterncountrysidegroup.org

01442 905 992