The HS2 Ecology Technical Group has today released a report assessing and reviewing the HS2 Ltd approach to the natural environment and made recommendations for the subsequent phases of the project.
The HS2 Ecology Technical Group, of which the National Trust is a member, believes that HS2 Ltd must improve their approach to ecology and be more ambitious with the measures created to mitigate or offset the ecological impacts created by the railway. The report identifies lessons for proposed Phase 2 of the railway scheme.
The report recommends that HS2 Ltd commits to delivering a net gain for biodiversity that is compliant with the Government’s position for nature, and that an independent Ecology Review Group is established immediately to advise on biodiversity issues and make recommendations for the construction and operational phases of the railway.
The Group also recommends that HS2 Ltd fulfils the commitment made to the ‘Precautionary Principle’ which enables assessments and decision making criteria that is in line with industry best practice that is based on robust baseline data.
The report has been produced before the HS2 Phase 1 Select Committee in the House of Commons finishes hearing evidence, and at a late stage in these proceedings in response to biodiversity documentation being published in January 2016 by HS2 Ltd.
The HS2 Ecology Technical Group is an expert independent group, set up in 2013 to provide the means for engagement, consultation and information sharing to achieve the best possible outcome for ecology along the route of the proposed High Speed 2 development. The group is comprised of non-governmental organisations, local authorities and statutory bodies.