Mar 9 2012 By Lawrence Poole
HS2 chiefs have denied accusations they are planning to dump millions of tonnes of spoil removed by creating the £33bn rail link by the M25.
In a rival publication last week, HS2 Ltd's chief executive Alison Munro rebutted concerns there would be large spoil dumps in the Chilterns saying it would be deposited 'adjacent to the M25' away from the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
When the Examiner contacted HS2 Ltd they said there had been a misunderstanding.
Spokesman Rhona Crawford said: "It is not our intention to leave excavated materials from the Chiltern's tunnel along the route of the M25 but we are considering using the motorway for transporting material away from the site.
"Like similar infrastructure projects we will be developing a strategy for handling all such material that will be based on the detailed design, engineering and environmental work that is currently being carried out."
Experts say around 12 million cubic metres of spoil will need to be removed to build the London to Birmingham link featuring a 13.5km tunnel under some of the Chilterns.
If these figures are correct, it will mean a lorry movement every 26 seconds of the working day, Monday to Friday, along the whole line for five years - the equivalent of 850,000 full trucks taking the spoil away during the construction phase which is due to start in 2017.
The Chiltern Society's John Gladwin heads a committee pressuring for the AONB to be protected.
He said: "It's a big concern, they've been talking about using it build sound barriers which we don't want to see as we don't want the natural line of the countryside damaged.
"There's a lot of spoil to be removed at both ends of the tunnel, so they've got a big problem on their hands - I don't see how they can do it without having a big work camp near Mantle's Wood (Little Missenden) where the tunnel comes out.
"We'd still like to see the plans changed with the tunnel going under the whole of the Chilterns."