Feb 27 2012 By Lawrence Poole
ANTI-HS2 campaigners from South Heath met MP Cheryl Gillan on Friday (February 24) to express their concern at the Government's decision to go ahead with the £33bn project.
The protesters were left fuming after the Chesham and Amersham MP persuaded the Government to make changes to the route. The changes will see more of the line tunnelled under the Chilterns - but the new tunnel will emerge a few hundred yards from their homes.
Carol Rainsford, 62, (pictured) of Marriotts Avenue, South Heath, said: "She said she had met with residents to discuss their concerns but we wanted to make sure she understood what it will mean for the people who live there.
"We asked her how they're going to get rid of all the spoil and how much the cutting will impact on us too.
"She said the soil would be used to create banks, which they would plant trees and bushes on."
She continued: "We also questioned her about standing down from her position as Secretary of State for Wales, but she said she wouldn't be doing that.
"We still have major concerns, protecting the AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) is so important to people here - we wanted her to know that."
She added: "Considering the subject matter, you can't say the meeting went well - but it was productive and it was good to be able to put our questions to her face-to-face."
Peter Jones, a member of Chiltern District Council representing South Heath, accompanied Mrs Rainsford and South Heath Action Group chairman Simon Hook to the meeting.
Cllr Jones said: "We made the point that the people of South Heath felt let down by the consultation process and thought our arguments had been ignored.
"If it does go ahead, and it's still a big if, we really want there to be tunneling under the whole of the AONB, which would relieve some of the preassure on the local environment.
"She was receptive and I hope she will push for these plans now on our behalf."
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