On 15 March 2013 the judgements on the five judicial review challenges were read by Mr Justice Ouseley at the High Court. The judicial reviews were brought by the HS2 Action Alliance and the 51m group of local authorities opposing HS2 on various grounds including breach of environmental law - specifically 1) the failure of the Department for Transport to comply with the EU Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) Directive and the Habitats Directive as implemented by UK law and 2) failure to conduct an Environmental Impact Assessment on both HS2 and its strategic alternatives. HS2 Action Alliance also brought a judicial review on the compensation consultation organised by the DfT for those affected by HS2.
Judicial reviews were additionally brought by the Heathrow Hub Group on the route chosen for HS2 and by Aylesbury Golf Course. The Heathrow Hub Group argued that a new line should be routed via Heathrow and tunneled under the Piccadilly Line to Heathrow before following the M40 corridor. First proposed by The Bow Group the route could also link HS2 to Crossrail and the old GWR network.
All the challenges were dismissed except for the HS2 Action Alliance challenge on the compensation consultation, on which the High Court judge argued that that the government had acted 'so unfairly as to have been unlawful'. Notably the judge remarked that it had been 'bizarre' that the DfT should choose a compensation package to consult on which was only supported by 21/36,000 respondents and that the process was 'doomed to failure from the start'.
HS2 Action Alliance and the 51m Group will be appealing the judgements where they were not successful at the Court of Appeal.
NORTH EALING AGAINST HS2 RESPONSE TO JUDICIAL REVIEWS
North Ealing Against HS2 fully supports HS2 Action Alliance in appealing the judgement on the Strategic Environmental Assessment Directive judicial review and welcomes Mr Justice Ouseley's finding that the government's compensation options for those affected by HS2 were so unfair as to be unlawful.
However, the primary concern for the people of Northolt, Greenford, Perivale and Hanger Lane is for further tunnelling to protect the local area, rather than compensation. NEAHS2 would also point out that further compensation for local residents as well as huge disruption from bridge replacements would be unnecessary if HS2 were put underground through the area.
NEAHS2 would also urge the Department for Transport to announce further tunnelling as soon as possible to alleviate continued stress and anxiety for North Ealing residents.
Coverage of the judicial reviews can be found here:
'THE IMPORTANT THING IS NOT TO BELIEVE THE GOVERNMENT SPIN':
'PASSENGER NUMBERS BLOW APART CASE FOR HS2 TRAIN LINE':
'HUMILIATING DEFEAT FOR GOVERNMENT':
- The main objective of the SEA directive is to ‘…provide for a high level of environmental protection and to contribute to the integration of environmental considerations into the preparation and adoption of plans and programmes…’ (Article 1 of the SEA Directive)
- The EU Habitats Directive aims to protect the wild plants, animals and habitats that make up our diverse natural environment. The directive created a network of protected areas around the European Union of national and international importance. Protection Areas support significant numbers of wild birds and their habitats. In the UK, the Habitats Directive is implemented by the Conservation of habitats and species regulations 2010 (SI no. 2010/490) more commonly known as the Habitats Regulations.