Court rejects HS2 challenge

The Court of Appeal has rejected the latest challenges to Government plans to go ahead with the HS2 national high-speed rail project.

Residents living on HS2 route to be 'fairly compensated'

HS2 promotional image. Credit: HS2 Ltd

The chief executive of HS2 Ltd, part of the high-speed rail network project has welcomed the Court of Appeal decision to reject a legal challenge from its opponents.

Alison Munro said: "We now carry on the vital work we are doing to deliver a high speed rail network that will act as an engine for growth, address the capacity challenge on the railways and connect up eight out of 10 of our biggest cities.

"We will also continue to do all that we can to minimise the environmental impact of the new network while ensuring that those directly impacted along the route are fairly compensated."

HS2 opponents 'disappointed' over court verdict

Opponents of the HS2 high speed rail project have said they are "disappointed" after a court rejected their legal challenge against the plans. Councillor Martin Tett, chairman of the 51m alliance and leader of Buckinghamshire County Council said today:

Yes, we are disappointed with the result.

Lord Justice Sullivan gives a very strong steer that HS2 Ltd has failed both in its obligation to fully assess the environmental implications of the project and vitally to assess these against the alternative we have put forward.

His comments in his judgment are damning of the Department for Transport's approach, stating: 'If, as I have concluded, an SEA is required and there has not been substantial compliance with the SEA Directive, it would be difficult to think of a more egregious breach of the Directive given the scale of the HS2 project and the likely extent of its effects on the environment."

This is another example of the Department for Transport and HS2 Ltd riding roughshod over public opinion, ploughing ahead regardless of what local communities want and ignoring the environmental merits of the alternatives.

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Central

'This project is vital for the economy' says HS2 chief

A High Court judge has ruled in favour of campaigners challenging the Government's handling of HS2, the high speed rail route through the Midlands.

Although he rejected all but one of five legal challenges, Mr. Justice Ouseley said the Government's consultation process was unlawful.

HS2 Ltd argue the high-speed rail will boost the economy:

"This project is vital for the economy and for our country going forward. We need the capacity , we need to improve the connectivity between our major cities. The judgement today gives us the green light to press on with the project and deliver that for our major cities."

National

Anti-HS2 group wants property bonds from Govt

A spokesman for the anti-HS2 group that was successful in its High Court case over the compensation consultation suggested that the Government should issue property bonds:

We don't have a value for what the compensation bill will be.

One way for the Government to help would be to issue property bonds to ensure the housing market remains liquid.

Existing owners may have to sell at a discount because of the blight.

But bonds could be issued to ensure the person buying would have a guarantee that the Government would make up the difference if the price fell below a certain level.

This could help prevent people being unable to sell and remaining trapped in their homes for a long period of time when a change in their circumstances, such as a change of job, required them to sell.

– HS2AA spokesman Richard Houghton
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