Joint Press release from Hillingdon Green Party and Hillingdon friends of the Earth:
Following Aylesbury Vale District Council’s unanimous decision on April 17th 2019 to ask the government to pause HS2 destruction ,
and anticipating the closure of Harvil Road, Harefield for further vegetation clearance over the weekend of 27 and 28th April 2019;
Green groups in Hillingdon have jointly issued a call to London Borough of Hillingdon to Halt HS2 destruction in the Mid Colne Valley Hillingdon.
Mark Keir, co-ordinator of Hillingdon Green Party said “Our environment, our homes and our communities are being ripped apart and disrupted on an unprecedented scale for a project that cannot be cost-justified and therefore cannot happen. We urgently appeal to the council to challenge HS2 destruction and prevent harm to the countryside, wetlands, natural water sources, wildlife habitats, residents and communities at risk from HS2 activities in Hillingdon and the Colne Valley.”
The letter asks Hillingdon:
to refuse permits for further road closures designed for vegetation clearance,
to object against HS2 digging through pollution pathways from historically contaminated land at Newyears Green, which could affect the public water supply
and to request suspension of HS2 land seizures until everyone who have lost their homes and business have been compensated.
Rosemary Bennett of Hillingdon Friends of the Earth agreed, saying “The cost of HS2 is the lost opportunity to spend the money on cutting climate change emissions by improving other transport and managing our countryside better. ”
We invite everyone, everywhere, to contact their elected representatives and the council in support of our call to halt HS2 in Hillingdon. The full text of the letter is below and will be available on the facebook and twitter of Hillingdon Green Party and Hillingdon Friends of the Earth, and their web-pages too.
Open Letter to our elected representatives on
London Borough of Hillingdon Council
from Hillingdon Green Party
and Hillingdon Friends of the Earth
Halt HS2 activities in the Mid Colne Valley Hillingdon
Our environment, our homes and our communities are being ripped apart and disrupted on an unprecedented scale for a project that cannot be cost-justified and therefore cannot happen. Therefore we urgently appeal to LBH to challenge HS2 destruction and prevent harm to the countryside, wetlands, natural water sources, wildlife habitats, residents and communities at risk from HS2 activities in Hillingdon and the Colne Valley.
We require Government both national and local, to respect UK and EU Environmental Protection Laws and SAVE from HS2 destruction the following:
The Mid Chiltern Chalk aquifer and water source protection zones within the Mid Colne Valley.
The areas of natural recharge for the aquifer. The aquatic and waterside habitats that provide vital water purification functions.
The wetland nature reserves including large areas of wet woodland (a priority habitat requiring protection under the UK Biodiversity Action Plan UKBAP) which are home to Groundwater Dependent Terrestrial Ecosystems. These are among the most biodiverse ecosystems remaining within England and home to over 2,400 species. These are the buffer zones for London against Climate Change and are vital for continued air and water quality, health and wellbeing of our environment and ourselves.
Natural and semi-natural resources within the Mid Colne Valley are irreplaceable. The damage that we have witnessed already by HS2 contractors, is horrendous.
The Water Framework Directive is being breached as decisions are being taken without the effects on the water environments being fully understood or costed. In the interests of public health and future water supplies the aquifer, south of Harefield, must be protected.
We agree with London Borough of Hillingdon who said:
‘The Council considers that the above ground works would have a high level of impact on a highly sensitive receptor. The sensitivity of the receptor relates to both the existing level of contamination and the location of potable water abstraction points that serve large parts of the Colne Valley area. The effects are therefore of more than local importance and could significantly impact a highly important water resource for the region.’ LBH (2013-14).
As required by the Department of Transport, Notice to Proceed to HS2 main contractors should not be given until management capability, affordability of contracts and robustness of revised business case have all been proven. The business case cannot be proven without realistic provision for indemnity against harm to the water bodies, wildlife habitats, residents and communities at risk in Hillingdon and the Colne Valley.
London Borough of Hillingdon must put in an immediate objection to UK Government, requiring a halt to HS2 Load Test Pile driving into the aquifer along the Newyears Green Bourne. London Borough of Hillingdon will be liable for any further spread of contamination into the water environments from Newyears Green Landfill Special Site of Contamination.
London Borough of Hillingdon must refuse authorisation of road closures designed for tree and vegetation clearance as there is No Notice for HS2 to Proceed. An ecosystem approach must be taken for protecting the environment in the Greenbelt and Site of Metropolitan Importance for nature conservation and drinking water source protection zones.
London Borough of Hillingdon must also request the suspension of all land seizure until HS2 Ltd make immediate full compensation to everyone who has already lost their home or livelihood.
We look forward to hearing from you of the actions you will be taking.
for Hillingdon Green Party
For Hillingdon Friends of the Earth
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