Just before Christmas I met with representatives from HS2 and Thames Water to discuss the sewer diversion works being planned at the Ickenham Green Allotment. I am grateful to everyone in the community, including local Councillors, who joined me applying pressure on HS2 to go away and look again at these plans. They have committed to undertake a review and report back on how this can better take account for local needs.
As promised I have also taken local views to the HS2 Minister, Andrew Stephenson. He understood the need for better community dialogue and assured me that he was going to apply pressure on HS2 to engage more effectively with the affected parties. It was his understanding that this has been the preferred route for the diversion for some time and so it is poor that the community learnt about it in this way.
He also assured me that the review being undertaken by HS2 and Thames Water was being taken seriously. While I my hopes for an entirely new route are looking unlikely, I am hopeful that we can achieve meaningful mitigations for the plot holders. It is my ambition to ensure that as much of the site as possible can be left untouched.