Approval means end of line for village HS2 protesters

A CONTROVERSIAL high-speed rail line will slice through parts of the Daventry district after Government ministers approved the project this week.

Trains travelling at 225mph will travel from London to Birmingham when the first phase of the £32 billion HS2 project is completed by 2026.

Transport secretary Justice Greening said tunnel extensions will now be built at Aston le Walls and Chipping Warden to help curb noise, but that has done little to appease campaigners. Both the Boddington villages will also be dissected by the line.

Daventry MP Chris Heaton-Harris said he disagrees with his own party’s decision to build the train line.

The second phase of the project would see HS2 proceeding to Leeds and Manchester by 2032/33.

After the decision was made on Tuesday Mr Heaton-Harris tweeted: “Disappointed with HS2 announcement. Simply don’t believe Govt/Dept of Transport can deliver value for money on such big contracts.”

Campaigners said they are now looking into the possibility of a judicial review to challenge the decision.

Boddington parish councillor and South Northants Action Group (SNAG) chairman Peter Deeley said: “The main reaction is one of great disappointment that our Government has not seen common sense.

“There is also a great deal of anger because even though the Government’s consultation received 50,000 responses, the majority of which were against the project, they made no mention of this during the final decision.

“In Lower Boddington there are around 80 houses which face the proposed track. Who wants to buy a house which is going to be 300 metres away from this development?

“The Government is wasting money on a project that hasn’t been investigated properly.”

Aston le Walls campaigner Jo Wilson added: “I’m not surprised that the Government has taken no notice of the consultation process.

“The business case is flawed and the economic case is flawed, it just doesn’t make sense. Pensions of nurses and firemen are being cut so how come there is money to spend on this?

“If it was good for the country I would support it but I don’t think it will bring any benefits. The tunnel will make a difference to noise, but that doesn’t justify the project.”

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