Gt Missenden and The Lee Parish Council representatives met with HS2 Main Works Contactors (EKFB) this morning to discuss the proposed removal of trees adjacent to and near Leather Lane. Similar meetings were held, by EKFB, with the Chiltern Conservation Board, Buckinghamshire Council and our local MP’s office. All of the meetings arose from the concerns expressed (on the ground and in emails) about the extent of tree felling in this area.
EKFB have given assurances (see Slides) that they are reviewing all “reasonable practical” steps to minimise the number of existing trees to be felled, taking account of the permanent infrastructure needed for the railway and the construction constraints of the project. As a result of this review, it is estimated that approx. 40% of the affected trees will definitely need to be felled to allow the railway and permanent infrastructure to be built and 30% of those previously proposed for felling can be left in place. The remaining 30% is the subject of further, more detailed, review, taking account of the design of the earthworks, drainage, ecology and other construction constraints. The two parish councils expressed a strong wish that, if possible, all of this remaining 30% should also be reprieved, if necessary by changing some of these design constraints and by integrating the oaks into the future tree-planting programme for this area.
This more detailed review will take place over the next fortnight. Until then, only the trees directly on the line-of-route of the railway and at the ends of the realigned Leather Lane will be removed (which also includes the place where the temporary internal access road will cross Leather Lane), subject to ecological inspections. Further updates will be posted as they become available.