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10/06/2013
HS2 campaigners appeal against High Court decision to reject concerns


 

HS2 campaigners appeal against High Court decision to reject concerns

Monday, June 10, 2013
8:06 AM                  

 

A coalition of groups, including the HS2 Action Alliance (HS2AA) and Heathrow Hub Ltd, unsuccessfully argued the Government was required to provide a strategic environmental assessment (SEA) as part of plans for the line between London and Birmingham.

This was one of nine areas of legal challenge brought by the scheme’s opponents that was thrown out in a ruling in March by Mr Justice Ouseley at London’s High Court.

Only one challenge succeeded and concerned the way in which the property compensation consultation for HS2 had been carried out. The consultation is now being re-run.

But HS2AA has raised the £100,000 it needed to challenge the SEA decision before three judges in the Court of Appeal, starting today.

Local authorities said they will also be challenging the high-speed rail plans, with Camden Council saying the scheme will cause a ‘decade of blight’.

It said some 477 homes in Euston will be demolished, bodies will have to be exhumed from a local graveyard, and open space will be lost.

The council fears world-famous markets, cafes and bars in Camden Town will face untold economic damage as bridge works take place for the above-ground link between HS1 and HS2.

Speaking ahead of the appeal, Camden Council leader Sarah Hayward said: "High Speed 2 is fundamentally flawed, and this appeal enables us to highlight the extent of the detrimental impact it could cause and the defects in the decision-making process.”

A spokesman for the Department of Transport said: "The High Court was firm in dismissing these challenges and the Government will continue to defend any challenge in the Court of Appeal.

"It is unfortunate but inevitable that opponents of HS2 will do whatever they can to delay the Government’s plans, but the Government remains committed to delivering HS2 as quickly as possible.”

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