Arguing your Locus Challenge

Main Points

  1. AP4 is worse. One way is to argue that AP4 is WORSE than AP2 (‘the Bill’) in a relevant manner that makes you “specially, directly and injuriously affected” by AP4 itself.  But it is important to note that nowhere in the rules does it say that AP4 must be worse than the Bill. (Neil Caulfield has helpfully confirmed this).
  2. AP4 affects you directly. Another way is to say that there are aspects of AP4 that “specially, directly and injuriously affect” you (despite the fact that in other respects AP4 may be an improvement) for example the major adverse effect at the GM link roundabout when combined with the Bill might lead you to want to argue for new solutions ie as compared to when you petitioned before under ES/AP2. You could now focus on alternatives to moving the spoil (from what is proposed) eg move it by rail; move the new haul road north. (We know the Committee won’t grant locus just so you can argue for a long tunnel again – so be careful of that!). 
  3. AP4 issues that won’t otherwise get raised. If you can argue that the issue (and potential solution) will not get raised if you don’t get locus then that may help your challenge. In that respect it’s worth noting that key groups such as CRAG and the Lee Parish council have had their locus challenged, as well as almost everyone in the Lee and Kings Ashe so potentially issues in that area (eg Rocky Lane) may NOT get raised in context of AP4. While GM Parish have their locus accepted most of GM has been challenged including the whole of the business community, much of South Heath, Prestwood.  While the Parish can provide collective representation it cannot cover personal dependences for example on the A413 route/GM junction.  
  4. Sufficiently different from general public. Need to say how your points mean you are sufficiently different from how the general public is affected, and even better if you don’t think the local authority will be taking your points. 
  5. AP4 not as good as expected. It is not worth arguing that AP4 did not produce a sufficient improvement compared to what we expected or hoped for – the chair (Syms) has already indicated this is no good.
  6. Repetition. The Committee do not want to grant locus and then end up hearing all the same arguments and solutions made against the Bill again. So the more it’s tailored to a new angle from the AP the better.
  7. Other ideas. If you have members in your group who are clearly affected (even if others are not) this could be pressed.

Likely promoter position

  1. Points that will probably be made by Strachan/Mould (for the Promoter), which in the locus challenge hearings will be made in his opening statement are that you are not affected as:
    1. No land or property taken or interfered with
    2. No differently affected as from how the general public is affected
    3. Your rights or interests aren’t affected, with various specifics potentially being referred to eg
      1.  Less construction traffic under AP4 on A413 than under the Bill between Wendover and Amersham; and Amersham to Wendover (true?- Jim to check)
      2. Less construction traffic on Rocky Lane than before (true because under AP2 100% of the haul traffic was going on this route; AP4 is only worse than the original ES (where Rocky Lane had no haul traffic as all the spoil stayed at Hunts Green)
      3. Less construction traffic on B485 than before (true because now only the Chesham vent site uses B485 instead of traffic for green tunnel works/sites as under ES) but it doesn’t stop A413 roundabout being worse under AP4
      4. No construction traffic on local roads eg Potter Row, Kings Lane (true)
      5. Noise levels are reduced – in operations (true) and in construction (true except for north end of Potter Row but they have locus)
      6. Blight reduced/removed from many areas adjacent to extended bored tunnel eg Hyde Heath, Hyde End and part of South Heath (true, but it is the market that determines blight and so wrong to remove compensation packages from such areas that don’t recognise this)

Things that are worse/different and partly worse under AP4:

  1. Great Missenden/South Heath/The Lee/Chesham
    1. Traffic at A413 roundabouts worse eg GM link roundabout now ‘major’ impact under AP4 compared to ‘moderate’ before. The immediately adjacent roundabout (A413/B485) will be similarly impacted.  Issue stems from the new haul link road that exits onto GM roundabout for moving spoil and accessing the compounds. The traffic will fill up the link road and back-up through GM
    2. No alternative route across A413 (for villages on east side to access the west side ie GM station, hospitals, schools; GM school buses); or towards London or Wendover in am peak.  All alternatives lack capacity to become effective rat-runs (but vehicles may try).
    3. Emergency service arrangements for access to High Wycombe and Stoke Mandeville hospitals – especially if you are particularly dependant on them
    4. Zone of Visibility worse during construction with the new haul road from opposite side of valley (check?) (as viewed coming down hill from Prestwood)
    5. Main tourist footpaths from GM up to potter row and Jenkins wood now worse
  2. Parts of South Heath (including Potter Row )
    1. Footpaths permanently worse, setting of Bury Farm and Jenkins Wood worse, more damage to archaeology
    2. Damage to Jenkins Wood, due to inadequate buffer zone between new construction route and Jenkins Wood
    3. New potential for tunnel boom – HS2 Ltd has declined to give firm assurances that tunnel boom will be prevented – and they have reduced the length of the porous portal from when it was to be sited at Mantles Wood.  Risk is now all the residents, so assurances without guarantees cannot be relied upon
  3. For parts of Hyde end/South Heath/Cudsdon Court
    1. Chesham Vent shaft – construction, appearance, noise, proximity to Annie baileys all new. A need to do it “better”
  4. For Frith Hill South Heath Leg:
    1. New link construction/haul road (new source of noise and visual obtrusion)
    2. Larger portal and portal buildings; and larger construction compound
    3. Electricity pylon(s) more obtrusive, higher and nearer to some houses
  5. For Potter Row
    1. Access footpaths to Great Missenden worse due to larger portal/wider cutting
    2. Access problems for Great Missenden worse due to roundabout rearrangement and routing of spoil
    3. Larger portal and portal buildings; and larger construction compound- visual impacts; more dust
    4. Wider South Heath cutting (with greater archaeological impact and higher bridges at Leather Lane); reduced depth compared to before at north end of Potter Row (potentially causing the increased construction noise at that end)
  6. For residents on the west side of Potter Row:
    1. New source of noise to rear of property during construction (from road linking compounds and use for haul traffic). Unclear how long the road at the top of cutting will be used until haul transfers to bottom of the cutting
  7. For Kings Ashe area
    1. Access to A413 via Rocky Lane still unsatisfactory as road unsuitable - need a different solution to removing spoil by road and using Rocky Lane.

Some visuals that have been used by others to date