THE destruction a 250mph high-speed rail link would bring to Harefield has been spelled out with the village standing to lose one of its most popular attractions.
The principal of the Hillingdon Outdoor Activities Centre has described how they would be left with no option but to close if the proposals go ahead.
HOAC, as it is better known, attracts over 20,000 visitors from schools and colleges a year around the district as well as having over 650 signed up members.
Based on a 45 acre lake sited between Harefield and Denham, it is a unique spot for watersports tuition in the area, including sailing, canoeing, windsurfing, and powerboating.
Proposals for the high-speed rail link want to build a viaduct over the middle of the lake, allowing the trains to pass from Ruislip into Buckinghamshire.
Jeff Creak, centre principal, said: "I should think it would close the centre down, I cannot see any way we could continue to operate with a 250 mph train passing over us.
"A lot of young people come from miles around to use our facilities and for us to teach them watersports.
"The safety aspects and the noise disruption would make it impossible for us to go on."
Creak says that the board at the centre will be having a meeting next week to discuss the proposals, and how they plan to oppose them.
"We will be fighting this, the route should go via Heathrow anyway, that would mean it would be changed and we likely would not be affected."
Building is not scheduled to begin on the route until 2017 with a completion for the London-Birmingham link set for 2026, but political jousting could even further delay it.
"In the mean time we are open as normal, the plans are non-sensical, and there are so many people lining up to oppose them, I am quietly confident common sense will prevail and turn this around.
"The concept of it is just wrong, to cause all this disruption just so people can get from London to Brimingham that tiny bit quicker."
John Miles, who lives in Harefield, said: "think it is a terrible idea. My house overlooks the Harefield lakes and the Colne Valley. I have enjoyed stunning views for the past 17 years.
"It seems to be a crime against nature to spoil the beautiful countryside. This is not pure nimbyism. Surely it would have made more sense to either utilise the existing West Coast mainline route or to carry the route slightly further out along the Chiltern Line before bearing North towards Birmingham at a less nature-sensitive location.
"To route a two mile viaduct through lakes and farmland is just another nail in Harefield's coffin as a village.
"We will bear all the upheaval & disruption without gaining any of the economic benefits."
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