Better safeguards are needed if environmental impacts of the proposed HS2 rail route are to be minimised, according to the Environmental Audit Committee.
It wants Parliament, in its capacity as the planning authority, to ensure everything possible is done to lessen the damage on the countryside.
Chair of the Committe, Joan Walley MP said:
*The Government needs to show real commitment to dealing with the impact that HS2 will have on our countryside and wildlife. Ancient woodlands and other hard to replace sites of natural value should not be subordinated to crude economic calculations of cost and benefit. It is imperative that an infrastructure project on such a large scale implements proper environmental safeguards and ensures that impacts are minimised. This means adopting stringent, enforceable standards and setting aside adequate funding. *
The HS2 Hybrid Bill will be given its second reading on the 28th April, after which it will be referred to a dedicated select committee to examine 'petitions' against it.