Message from NVRA Chair


SAY ‘NO’ TO HS2     

NORTHOLT VILLAGE RESIDENTS ASSOCIATION v HS2

The proposed development of HS2 is a huge project and will go ahead one way or the other, the present Government are totally committerd to the building of this new rail network and have ‘ring fenced’ monies to secure its future.

Since it’s announcement many opposition groups, including the NVRA have declared their rejection of the scheme as proposed. Opposition groups are made up of many Residents Associations, groups and individuals that have, since the announcement seen many new formaton of groups that all cover the entire rail route way. With such opposition and so many smaller and larger groups and associations and individuals venting their dissent to the development, it is hardly surprising that the same groups originally all operated independantly and capturing information from the same is almost as difficult as the opposition to the proposal itself.

One of the groups opposing the develpoment across our area is trying, under their Chair to organise the groups in unison, thereby creating a central source and point to gather all opposition points, issues and objecfions helping to create a main voice – ONE VOICE, UNITED AGAINST HS2, UNITED in ONE COMMON CAUSE. North Ealing Against HS2 under its Chair have pulled all groups together for Ealing, NORTHOLT, Greenford, Perivale and Hanger Lane and we like so many of the groups in are neighbouring area all feed into one ‘United’ Group, this does make perfect sense with a development of this magnitude and does help greatly in giving a bigger and louder voice in opposition to the development.

Members from each of the oppostion groups and individuals all attend various HS2 meetings, that are organised by HS2 Ltd (the contractors), but, Chaired independently.This has helped to create a very organised group and individual representation from across the board/area that are able to contribute regularly.

ALL groups are calling for and are united in campaigning for a  tunnel that would run under Ealing, NORTHOLT, Greenford, Perivale and Hanger lane, the feeling is that WE should have been afforded this under the project, not restricted as it would effectively serve to:

      a.      Say NO to HS2 the senceless destruction of our neighbourhoods and save homes from demolision, compulsory purchase

      b.     Say NO to HS2 land being taken in widening for new rail tracks

      c.     Say NO to HS2 the senceless destruction of our environment, vegitation, wildlife, habbitat, trees, shrubbery, embankments

      d.    Say NO to HS2 the increase to extra loud noise and disturbance to residents from high speed trains

      e.    Say NO to HS2 the ever worrying likehoods of accidents that could or might affect the neighbourhoods from overhead rail tracks serving high speed trains

It may seem ambicious to press and demand for a tunnel to run from Hanger Lane through to the Ruislip’s, naturally the thorny subject of costs to the scheme are a major factor with HS2 declaring a tunnel of this magnitude was never envisaged, and point blank refuse to consider the option, but I would at this point remind residents that through effective campaigning earlier from the start of this development those living in the Chilterns have won on the point of a tunnel successfully, so why shouldn’t we?

Although HS2 will only adhere to their project brief of the development, Ealing Council have offered and will undertake an exercise regarding tunnel costings and will also look closer at traffic and noise as so far little if anything has been looked at around this yet. It transpires to date that Ealing Council have in the same time been researching various aspects and alternatives associated with the development and have stated that they are ‘in support’ of residents. We are though pressing Ealing Council into playing a more ‘active’ role in matters that would demonstrate clearly to residents and neighbourhoods their declaration and support, to which we are in constant corrspondence with them.

 

Its frustrating when attending meetings that HS2 will only engage with us in accordance to their brief and fail to offer or consider any matter outside their brief. Members vent their anger as they wish alternative suggestion and ideas to be included. We have recently voted to maintain an independent Chair and Deputy Chair for all meetings, this service has proved invaluable and keeps meetings orderly and to agenda and time without bias. What we do need is an independant way of making OUR points of objection to the Secretary of State, DfT, so far at these meetings there is a definate and distinct lack of being able to put alternative views across that would be taken seriously and offer some impact that would support residents. The ‘51m’¹ is a group of 19 local authorities that have joined together to actively challenge the HS2 rail project, with so far the notable exception of Ealing Council. Why has Ealing Council not joined 51m? So far, Ealing Council state they have undertaken a great deal of background work but are continuing to watch developments. This has clearly frustrated residents as they are non commital when challenged over their support to residents. It is time to come ‘off the fence’ and declare their support for residents and to even join 51m in solidarity, we shall continue to push for this.

Due to the nature of the current climate and proposals being levelled at us by HS2 Ltd we shall continue to SAY ‘NO’ TO HS2, until we get better assurances taking into account our views that only serve to protecting OUR residents, OUR homes, OUR land, OUR neighbourhoods, OUR environment rather than the HS2 that only serves to destroying our neighbourhoods. Please support US by saying NO TO HS2.

Jon Parry

Chair: Northolt Village Residents Association

¹ 51m – The group is known as “51m” because that represents how much HS2 will cost each and every Parliamentary Constituency…£51million. This proposed scheme will have an impact on every taxpayer in the country for years to come.