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19/07/2013
SNC Council ‘has little confidence’ in HS2 report


Council ‘has little confidence’ in HS2 report

Artist's impression of an HS2 train

Artist's impression of an HS2 train

An environmental report on the impact of the HS2 high speed rail line contains old data and ignores common sense, according to South Northamptonshire Council.

The local authority has published a comprehensive response to the draft environmental statement produced by HS2 Ltd in May 2013.

The council said it has "many reservations” about the statement which it said "appears to ignore common sense principles in relation to high-speed rail, which could have significantly reduced the environmental impact.”

Councillor Rupert Fordham, portfolio holder for economic development and regeneration, said: "We are extremely concerned that the final draft is 90 percent smaller than was anticipated and much of the critical data is missing which makes it really difficult to make any comment on it.

"We really have very little confidence in this piece of work and there will also not be any opportunity to respond to the final document without incurring a prohibitive cost.

"We hope very much that our response will reiterate our concerns on this project which cannot be justified either economically or environmentally.”

Local community views and expertise from neighbouring authorities within the 51m consortium have been sought in a few specialist areas such as ecology to ensure that the response is "comprehensive and complimentary”, the council said.

Points made in South Northamptonshire Council’s formal response include:

-Cumulative effects from other plans and programmes have not been considered eg aviation review

-Effects on conservation areas, communities and businesses not fully considered

-Lack of information on noise, air pollution, water resources/flooding and traffic, the latter is a fundamental omission at this stage

-Significant leisure and business impacts not fully assessed

-Some of the data is out of date or poorly presented

-Lack of references to comments from statutory consultees

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