MEMBERS of Harefield Tenants' and Residents' Association (HTRA) want to know why they have not been invited to a meeting about High Speed Two (HS2).
Plans to build a new high-speed rail line would blight the southern part of the village, and Hillingdon Outdoor Activity Centre has already said it would be forced to close if the plans go ahead.
A meeting is being held tomorrow night (Thursday) at Ruislip High School, in Sidmouth Drive.
Hillingdon Council has now stated for the first time publicly that it is planning to oppose HS2, which was announced by the Labour government in March. As a result it is planning to hold question and answer sessions with residents.
The organisation of these meetings has caused 'embarrassment and confusion' for HTRA.
It says it was sent a letter by Hillingdon Alliance of Residents' Associations (HARA), dated October 22, notifying members of the meeting. Council leader Ray Puddifoot has denied that HTRA was ever invited to the meeting.
HTRA chairwoman Pauline Crawley said: "We were sent a letter and told that all residents' associations would be invited to this meeting. Since then we have been notified it is an invitation-only event and not a public meeting; it is only meant for people in certain areas. Only Ruislip and Ickenham residents' associations have been invited.
"I have raised this issue and the council said we will have meetings arranged for us in the future, but nothing has been arranged so far and certainly won't be until the new year. In the meantime, we advertised this meeting to everybody who attended our monthly meeting, and now have to tell them they can't go. The council should be embarrassed."
The high-speed rail line would require a viaduct to be built over the 45-acre lake between Harefield and Denham, where Hillingdon Outdoor Activity Centre is based. The construction traffic will also cause disruption to village life, as would the noise from the 250mph trains.
Mr Puddifoot said: "The main effect for residents in Harefield is to Hillingdon Outdoor Activities Centre. The proposed route will come straight across that gravel pit on a viaduct.
"When the government confirms this is the proposed route, we will organise more meetings, including Harefield, to hear residents' concerns and answer their questions.
"We have successfully seen off the third runway at Heathrow and we are ready for our next challenge.
"We are not opposed to high-speed rail in principle but we believe this route is the most expensive and environmentally damaging that could be chosen."
Mr Puddifoot added that the council would unite with 12 other local authorities along the route, in a similar approach to that taken against Heathrow expansion. The coalition government is expected to confirm its preferred route later this month.
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