HS2 have 'still not paid' for Steeple Claydon land

A landowner who says they have still not been paid by HS2 says they have granted permission to protesters to access their land in Steeple Claydon.

At the end of October police warned Steeple Claydon protesters that they would be arrested for trespassing on the land, where HS2 is starting preliminary works.

Protesters at the Steeple Claydon site

Protesters at the Steeple Claydon site

But the landowner says that they have given the protesters permission, and in fact, because HS2 have not yet paid for the site, they might in fact be trespassing. As we have gone to print works have come to a halt in Steeple Claydon. It is not known why. HS2 issued the following response: “This land is now legally owned by the Government and the funds are ready for release once the owners complete the required paperwork. HS2 is committed to supporting landowners as we seek to minimise disruption for people affected by the railway.”

The landowner, who asked not to be named, said: “The Steeple Claydon Anti HS2 Society did have permission to access our land from us before HS2 took possession.

“HS2 served us notice to take legal possession of our land in July 2019 but have never paid us for it.

“We have never had a choice, HS2 decided that they wanted our land, they stole it by taking possession and haven’t met the payment deadlines.”

The Bucks Herald has been running a HS2: Enough Is Enough campaign

The Bucks Herald has been running a HS2: Enough Is Enough campaign

Members of the Steeple Claydon Anti HS2 Society are claiming they have permission to be on the land, and the landowners’ comments appears to back up this claim. However, the legalities of the issue are currently still vague.

Local councillor Frank Mahon, who has been one of the key protestors on site throughout the process, said: “We’re trying to get information on these permits.

“We’re still looking for an angle, any little chink in the armour that may get us back to where we were two weeks ago.”

“Fusion (the HS2 contractor) are saying they haven’t got a permit to carry on with anymore deveg.”

He added: “The diggers haven’t been out since last Thursday. Have they been put on hold until after the election - I don’t know. The permits could be the key for us.”

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