The government has agreed to amend the HS2 hybrid bill so an extension to the South Heath tunnel in Buckinghamshire can be built.
The changes are in line with recommendations made by the Hybrid Bill Select Committee and will see the deep-bored New Chilterns tunnel, proposed as part of the HS2 rail project, extended by 2.6km.
The high speed rail network developer said that by continuing the main tunnel all the way past the village, a separate ‘green tunnel’, designed to reduce noise and help blend the line into the landscape, would no longer be needed.
It added that the new proposals would not only reduce the scale and duration of local construction activity, but also preserve 12 hectares of woodland at nearby Mantle’s Wood, Sibley’s Coppice and Farthings Wood.
HS2 managing director of development Alison Munro said: “HS2 is determined to keep the environmental impact of the project as small as possible and we recognise the importance of listening to stakeholders and local communities as we continue to develop the scheme.”
“Major infrastructure projects like HS2 will always be about striking a balance between engineering, cost and environmental impacts. We will remain open to potential design improvements and I believe today’s proposals would deliver a successful long-term solution for South Heath, Hyde Heath, Great Missenden and the wider area.”