Denham Country Park - HS2 enabling works
National Grid and their contractors have begun works to relocate power lines that run across Denham Country Park in advance of building the new HS2 rail line, using powers under the HS2 Act.
The works, which are expected to last for two years, will inevitably mean some disruption for the Park and its special habitats, Park users, ranger staff, the nearby Golf Club and of course local residents and businesses. The County Council has been pressing HS2 Ltd to reduce the impacts of such major works on the Park and surrounding areas wherever possible. From the original HS2 Ltd plans, this has resulted in reducing the number of trees to be felled, as well as extra protection for wildlife and foliage.
HS2 Ltd took formal possession of the land they need on 4 November. From then, the Council as landowners, have had all their previous rights over the land suspended and HS2 Ltd now take full responsibility.
A Council spokesman said: "The positive news is that the Park will remain very much open for business while these works are happening, so everyone can continue to enjoy this magnificent facility. With more than a million visits to our Parks each year, it was vital to secure this so we didn't have to close this area completely."
"While we would rather have not had these works at all, the end result will mean the pylons and wires will have less of an impact on the Park and wildlife in the future which provides a crumb of comfort. We've also secured some additional funding to make further improvements to the Park after the contractors have left.
"As a Council, we have and remain completely opposed to the HS2 scheme, campaigning locally and nationally for the Government to abandon their plans. We have also written to ask the Prime Minister to stop all advanced works until the critical Oakervee review has been made public. However, the Government refused this request, and as yet, no report has been made public either.
“Unfortunately, with the legal powers HS2 Ltd has under the Hybrid Act, we have no powers to prevent this work from happening. All we have been able to do is press for sufficient mitigation measures to reduce, as far as possible, the impact of these works on the Park and for those who visit, as well as for further habitat improvements once the works have been completed.”
Initial works are expected to include fencing the site area and providing the necessary temporary access to the pylons from Denham Court Drive. The works are being carried out by National Grid on behalf of HS2 Ltd.
The spokesman added: "We will be closely monitoring how the works are going and maintaining regular contact with both National Grid and HS2 Ltd. As there will be significant construction traffic using Denham Court Drive, we would ask anyone using this section to drive with great care as it is particularly narrow in places."
If anyone has any questions or queries about the work, please contact HS2 Ltd either by email, HS2enquiries@hs2.org.uk or via their Freephone number: 08081 434 434.