PROJECT ACTIVITIES IN 2012
No response to the society's response to the HS2 Public Consultation, submitted in July 2011, was received. The government decision to go ahead with HS2, however, received wide coverage in the media.
Some changes were made to the route of the line, but these were of mixed benefit for the county's historic assets. At Twyford, for instance, the line was moved northwards by around 120 metres – sufficient to perhaps avoid damage to the manorial earthworks but not to protect the village from intrusion.
Bucks County Council produced a ‘Baseline Environmental Audit for the High Speed Rail 2 Route through Buckinghamshire’ which included a new set of maps showing the amended route and the buildings, sites and landscapes that will be affected.
THE HS2 WORKSHOP
The Society's HS2 Impact Assessment project reconvened with a workshop held in Aylesbury on 3 March 2012 to review changes to the route and to discuss what members can do to help protect the historic buildings and archaeological sites that will be affected. The workshop concluded that:
The workshop decided that the project's initial focus should be on Stoke Mandeville's deserted village site, a clear historic asset which is not ‘on the radar’ through listing or registration. Other sites would be surveyed where resources – in other words members of the Society – were available.
THE SURVEY REPORTS
For details of the five surveys and reports carried out during 2012, see:
Copies of all survey reports, outlining the damage likely to the historic environment by the construction of HS2 and recommending action to minimise this, were sent to Cotswold Archaeology for inclusion in the HS2 Envisonmental Impact Assessment.
REGISTERING OUR CONCERN
Contact was also made with other local bodies – parish councils, local history societies, amenity societies, and societies in neighbouring counties – which would also be concerned to protect historic buildings and archaeological sites. The Society also responded to all opportunities for public consultation offered by HS2 Limited.
The texts of recent letters are available here:
The society also took part in some meetings of the six 'HS2 Community Forums' for Buckinghamshire, which met every two months during 2012 to define and register local concerns over the details of the HS2 plans.