What has the proposed high speed rail link between London and Birmingham (HS2) got to do with Fracking?
Basically, two things......
1. A large proportion of the public is opposed
2. The Government will go to extraordinary lengths to push it through, despite overwhelming evidence of the adverse impacts........
In the Sunday Telegraph today, their correspondent describes the HS2 bill currently before parliament as "creating a mini-dictatorship over a far wider area than needed"........
Under clause 47, ministers will be able to order the compulsory purchase of any land whatever, and wherever.
Clause 51 establishes a new "right of entry" for anyone nominated by HS2 to enter any property within 500m of the line (presumably to survey it for redevelopment, seizure or demolition).
Clause 56 establishes a new power to seize land in London's Royal Parks, such as Hyde Park and Regents Park (why put in such a clause if you're not going to need it?)'
New powers are taken to cancel tree protection orders, ignore restrictions on heavy lorries, including the London night-time ban, and reduce legal protection from noise.
These are the facts as set out in the draft bill:
HS2 will result in 310 miles of hedgerows being ripped out, along with 19 areas of ancient woodland, one registered battlefield, one scheduled monument, and 18 grade II listed buildings. 92million tons of earth will be excavated, 20million tons of concrete laid, 600 miles of security fencing erected, and 1180 buildings demolished.
The mid-chilterns drinking water will suffer significant detriment and the effects on public water supplies will be significant and adverse (albeit only temporarily during the 6 years of the construction phase!).
Construction of the line will result in 6.4million tons of CO2 emissions; equivalent to the entire emissions from Birmingham over six months.