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HS2 FIGHT: Eco-group waits nervously for High Court verdict on proposed railway tunnel

 Published on: 9th November 2021   |   By: Bryn Holmes   |   Category: Uncategorized

A campaign group fighting to prevent HS2 from building a railway tunnel through the Chilterns are nervously awaiting the rulings of a High Court hearing.

On October 28, Misbourne Environmental Protection (MEP) attended their case to get a judicial review for the Environment Agency’s decision to approve construction of the high-speed railway’s planned Chilterns Tunnel.

They say will have a highly negative effect on the wildlife and atmosphere of the area.

The MEP are a group formed of residents and scientists who believe the construction of the tunnel will put the River Misbourne, one of only 211 chalk streams remaining on Earth, and its groundwater at risk. 

A spokesperson for HS2 has said: “Our permissions have been granted by the Environment Agency and Affinity Water following considerable engagement with those organisations and there has been no significant effect on the aquifer since the start of tunnelling five months ago.”

But the MEP say an incident in June at a ventilation shaft in Chalfont St Peter, where a large amount of slurry was released in the aquifer, raising doubts over the similar methods HS2 are using to bore the tunnel.

MEP spokesperson Dr. James Conboy said: “The water bodies affected by this vast tunnelling project are some of the most important in South East England. 

The Aquifer supplies 20 per cent of London’s fresh water. Shardeloes Lake carries an abundance of unique wildlife and is a visually stunning body of water popular throughout the Chilterns. “

Judges were due to make their decision a week after the original hearing – as AmershamNews went to print. 

If the judicial review fails, construction on the tunnel is set to begin mid-December.

Picture credit Peter S @ geograph.com

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