Like everyone opposed to the scheme, we had hoped an independent review might spell the end to this controversial and eye-wateringly expensive project, which is already cutting an unsightly swathe through the middle of our beloved and highly precious Colne Valley landscape.
Unfortunately, despite gallant protests and heartfelt pleas to scrap it, the brutal ‘Greater Good’ argument – that this scheme is of national importance and is somehow a price worth paying – has won the day: the Prime Minister insists HS2 forms an integral part of a brave new world of integrated transport whose benefits will be felt far into the future.
We don’t agree, and share the concerns being voiced by a wide range of environmental and wildlife organisations at the damage HS2 will cause all along its route.
In some practical respects, though, HS2’s confirmation changes nothing. Since our successful lottery bid in 2017, we have been carrying out 19 separate projects across the Colne Valley Regional Park as part of the Landscape Partnership programme. These have allowed us to make a real difference on the ground.
You can learn more about the various projects here: https://www.colnevalleypark.org.uk/project/landscape-partnership/
We remain determined to hold HS2 and its contractors fully and properly to account as it continues work on the new railway line, ensuring it sticks to the letter of the terms of its contract, and causes minimum damage to the surrounding environment.
As the Prime Minister said in his announcement approving HS2, the company has not handled the scheme’s impact on residents very well. We are inclined to agree, and will keep a close watching brief as construction work continues, also ensuring it meets its mitigatory obligations in full.
You can read more about our position with regard to HS2 here: https://www.colnevalleypark.org.uk/whats-special/safeguardthecountryside/