Plans to dump more than one million tonnes of waste from HS2’s construction on farm land have been scrapped in what is being dubbed a ‘significant concession’.
HS2 Ltd was proposing to dump the spoil at Shepherds Furze Farm near Steeple Claydon.
Opponents claimed this would take away valuable farmland used for dairy – and create a massive blot on the landscape, measuring 800 metres long, 600 metres wide and five metres high.
Removing what HS2 Ltd refers to as a ‘sustainable placement’ was one of Bucks County Council’s ten principle mitigation demands when it appeared before the HS2 Select Committee last month.
Council leader Martin Tett told the committee it would be far more sensible if the spoil was sent just a mile down the road to the Calvert landfill site – and it appears HS2 Ltd has belatedly reached the same conclusion.
A spokesman said: “We have informed the owner that we no longer plan to use Shepherd Furze Farm for sustainable placement.
“We will look to other means of disposal and are not seeking another site for sustainable placement.”
The spokesman said this would likely include using the landfill site.
Mr Tett said it was a ‘significant concession by HS2’, removing a ‘blot on the landscape’.
Mike Wood, who together with his brother Ant runs Portway Farms, which owns Shepherds Furze Farm, said: “A lot of villagers didn’t want this great big pile made in the middle of no where.
“The council has been absolutely brilliant. They have helped no end, especially on the select committee. Our MP John Bercow has been absolutely brilliant too alongside everybody else in our area.”
However, he added: “Although removingthe soil placement is a big help, there’s a hell of a lot more [from HS2] which is going to cause us grief.”