High Speed 2 Railway Line: Chalfont St Giles

Department for Transport written question – answered on 2nd June 2020.

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Photo of Dame Cheryl Gillan Dame Cheryl Gillan Conservative, Chesham and Amersham

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will publish the licence that permitted HS2 to remove parts of the hedgerows in Chalfont St Giles; and what impact assessment was made of the effect of that removal on the bird nesting season in that area.

Photo of Andrew Stephenson Andrew Stephenson Assistant Whip, Minister of State (Department for Transport)

The High Speed Rail (London – West Midlands) Act 2017, which underwent several years of parliamentary scrutiny, gives HS2 Ltd the authority to remove hedgerows for the construction of Phase One of HS2. Therefore no licences were required for the removal of part of the hedgerows in Chalfont St Giles.

The Environmental Statement for Phase One of HS2, which was published alongside the Bill, reported the results of the environmental impact assessment, including impacts on hedgerows. Where habitat clearance works need to be conducted during the nesting season, an Ecological Clerk of Works is present to identify nesting birds and stop works if necessary. If an active bird nest is found, works cease in that area and an exclusion zone is set up around the specific location to avoid disturbance that could cause adults to abandon the nest. This restriction remains in place until any chicks have fledged. This approach follows industry standard best practice.

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