PART OF THE HS2 HISTORIC IMPACT ASSESSMENT PROJECT
Society members attended and spoke at meetings of HS2 Community Forums across the county during 2013. At these gatherings of interested parties, brought together by HS2 Limited but independently chaired, HS2 representatives gave briefings on different aspects of the HS2 project, followed by questions and contributions.
The value of the forums was variable. Some were chaotic. The wide variety of concerns expressed – vibration, noise, property values, compensation offers, environmental impact on bats, badgers, chalkland plants, rights of way... let alone the historic environment – meant that any single issue rarely got the attention it deserved.
There was no doubt that the forums allowed a useful exchange of views between those opposing HS2 plans on various different issues, and areas of common ground were established. But whether our concerns would lead to action on the part of HS2 Limited or the government remained uncertain.
And the community forum meetings were suspended by HS2 Limited before the publication of the HS2 Environmental Statement, thereby preventing participants from giving useful feedback on HS2's detailed response to the earlier Forum meetings.