Proposals for an improved design for HS2 around Aylesbury, if it goes ahead, have been revealed by the National Trust today.
Whilst being neutral over the principle of HS2, the National Trust opposes the specific proposed route in the Aylesbury area and through the Chilterns AONB.
This is because of its landscape and other impacts, especially on Hartwell House, where it would require the acquisition of the Trust’s land.
The plans revealed today show how the impact on hundreds of people’s lives and the special places they care about could be reduced if HS2 Ltd plans for mitigation on a big enough scale.
This would include acquiring additional land either side of the railway line to give room for the necessary landscaping and other measures, such as creating a 600m long ’land bridge’ for the route as it crosses through the Hartwell House estate and next to Fairford Leys – where many local people will be heavily affected by the railway.
This would involve building the land up on either side of the line, then placing a lid on top, with vegetation and tree planting covering it. Wide, landscaped embankments which would screen trains and conceal noise barriers and security fencing also feature.
A range of specialist consultants, including experts in rail engineering, landscape character, landscape architecture, noise and hydrology have been brought in by the National Trust to advise on the best possible mitigation over an 8km stretch of the line from Stoke Mandeville, around Aylesbury and up to Waddesdon.
Since the route for HS2 was published in January this year, the Trust has been talking to local authorities, parish councils, landowners, other charities and organisations, as well as HS2 Ltd, aiming for proposals which take into account the views of as many people as possible who are affected by the line.
For more information see www.nationaltrust.org.uk/hs2