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‘No delay’ after HS2 judicial review


High Court rules in government’s favour on most challenges in judicial review

After judicial reviews last December, a High Court judge ruled on 15 March in the government’s favour on nine out of 10 broad areas of challenge presented against the HS2 high-speed railway’s Phase One (London-Birmingham).

The Hon Mr Justice Ouseley upheld a challenge that the consultation process was unfair, because not enough information was provided to consultees, and the criteria by which compensation options were considered were not adequately explained. He also found that the government had not fully considered HS2 Action Alliance’s detailed consultation response on compensation. The Department for Transport has decided that it will re-run this consultation, but said this will not affect the HS2 construction timetable.

The judge ruled it was lawful for the government to choose to rule out upgrading the existing network as a credible alternative to HS2, and also found that the government’s approach to consultation on the HS2 strategy/Phase One route, environmental assessment and consideration of the impact on habitats and protected species, had all been carried out fairly and lawfully.

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