Statement from HS2Ltd about the Harvil Road site. 7th November 2017.
HS2’s Works on Harvil Road
HS2’s enabling works contractor, CSjv, are clearing trees and vegetation at the site east of Harvil Road ahead of essential gas pipeline diversion works required before the construction of HS2 can begin.
HS2 and our contractors have completed all necessary ecological surveys and inspections ahead of the clearance works east of Harvil Road. All works at the site are being undertaken in accordance with the HS2 Environmental Minimum Requirements and the Act of Parliament permitting construction and operations of HS2 Phase One. The gas pipeline works will be undertaken by Cadent Gas under its own permitted development rights and in compliance with HS2’s Environmental Minimum Requirements.
This includes the removal of existing vegetation and trees along the utility diversion corridor which is essential for this diversion to go ahead. The contractors need to comply with the HS2 Code of Construction Practice measures with regard to protection of existing tree where possible, as well as a requirement to consider where planting and other landscape measures may be implemented as early as is reasonably practicable where there is no conflict with construction activities or other requirements of Phase One of HS2.
HS2 have in place mitigation plans for the area which include re-planting of native trees and shrubs that will compensate for the loss of vegetation removed to facilitate the Cadent Gas’ works. The design of the planting to compensate for these losses will be finalised by our main works contractor during their detailed design process. This will ensure the planting does not clash with the timing and location of future HS2 construction works in the area. The design will be informed by surveys of the trees carried out before they have to be cleared for the necessary utility diversion.
With respect to the subject of badgers and bats at the clearance site east of Harvil Road, we can confirm the following:
· The site has been surveyed for badgers and, while some signs of badger activity, including latrines (dung pits), were found on site, active badger setts have not been recorded on site to date and there are no active badger setts immediately adjacent to the site.
· As badgers are a mobile species, updated surveys will be undertaken as works continue to ensure that all works are undertaken in accordance with the legal protection afforded to badgers.
· As part of our preparation for the start of works, we have surveyed the whole site, using a range of survey methods. No evidence of roosting bats has been found in the area that our contractors are clearing.
· All precautions are being taken to reduce any risk, including re-inspection by ecologists of trees with moderate or high potential to support roosting bats prior to felling. Should any bat roosts be identified then works in that location will cease and appropriate mitigation and licensing requirements followed.
· We will also continue to update our surveys as works continue to ensure that all works are undertaken in accordance with the law.
In addition, we can confirm that there are no predicted impacts (direct or indirect) to Newyears Green Covert Ancient Woodland.