HS2 Chiltern Tunnel Vent Shaft Given Planning Approval

The first of five headhouses that will provide ventilation and emergency access to the 16km (10-mile) Chiltern tunnel has obtained planning approval from Buckinghamshire Council.

The Chalfont St Peter headhouse has been designed to look like one of the barns that is typical of the area to allow it to blend in with its environment.

The single-storey building will feature a grey zinc roof, while the doors and vent openings will be a dark bronze colour. The whole structure will sit on a dark blue brick base.

Chiltern tunnel vent shaft headhouse
Chiltern tunnel vent shaft headhouse at Chalfont St Peter

Below ground, the 78m ventilation shaft will reach down to the twin tunnels below. Fans and other equipment to regulate air quality and temperature and remove smoke in the event of fire will be installed in these shafts.

From a landscaping perspective, the site will be given new trees and hedgerows to act as a screen, while existing mature trees around the boundary will be retained as far as possible.

Rohan Perin, Project Client Director, HS2 Ltd, said:

“Planning approval for the Chalfont St Peter headhouse is a major milestone for the project and I’d like to thank all those who have helped get us to this stage. Throughout the design process we have been very aware of the unique rural setting of the headhouse structures and the importance of creating something that fits into the landscape. I’m glad that aspiration has been recognised and look forward to working closely with the council and community as we bring forward the designs for the remaining structures.”

The two tunnel boring machines that will excavate the Chiltern tunnels will launch from a site near the M25 later in 2021.

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