Briefing Note on HS2 – April 2012

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Download HS2 Briefing April 2012 (pdf, 28Kb)

WCC Seminar

Warwickshire County Council arranged a series of technical seminars on Tuesday 13 March to which action groups, parish councils, district and borough and county council members were invited. The slides from the presentations and notes from the discussions have been added to the web site at www.warwickshire.gov.uk/hs2.

The aim of the day was to provide access to information for those who will attend the Community Forums to represent their communities. The session covered noise, tunnels, bridges and viaducts, ecology and archaeology and cuttings and embankments. The County Council will consider holding a further seminar in due course.

Maps displayed on the day are now available on the website show where roads, footpaths, bridleways and similar cross the line.

HS2 Community Forums

The first round of HS2 Community Forums began with the one for Ladbroke and Southam on 26 March. Further forums have now been held for Offchurch and Cubbington, Stoneleigh, Kenilworth and Burton Green, Coleshill, and Curdworth and Middleton as well as one covering the NEC Interchange. These are expected to meet about every eight weeks in future.

The Groups and parishes have been asked to put forward community representatives to attend these, it should be remembered that this is only the beginning and the first meetings were an opportunity to agree the terms of reference and the attendance at the Forums. Further details are on the DfT/HS2 website at highspeedrail.dft.gov.uk/communityforums.

(These should not be confused with the Warwickshire Community Forums.)

HS2 have circulated a draft set of Terms of Reference which give the objectives of the forum as:

  • to identify local priorities
  • identify local benefits and
  • facilitate a two way dialogue.

Details of these are on the DfT/HS2 website under the link for Community Forums and the area called Country North covers the Warwickshire forums.

Planning Forum

As reported in the February Briefing, the first Warwickshire Planning Forum was held at Shire Hall on 9 February. The next meeting will be in May.

The role of the Planning Forum is to act as a technical advisory body and is not a decision making body. All that is put forward by the Community Forums, the Planning Forum and the National Environmental Forum will be submitted to HS2 Ltd for consideration, appraisal and approval.

Safeguarding Route

We are still awaiting news on the safeguarding route. This is the extent of land either side of the line to be protected from development. The expectation was that this would be published at the end of February.

Whilst the safeguarding route is not in place HS2 Ltd are keen to be notified of any proposals for development along the length of the route but there is no statutory requirement to provide this. WCC land searches now show the proximity of the HS2 line in their responses.

Environmental Impact Assessment –Scope and Methodology

The document setting out the methodology to be used in conducting the Environmental Impact Assessment has now been issued for consultation and responses are to be submitted by 30 May 2012. The consultation is not about the EIA itself but the scope and methodology and it is anticipated that responses will be from those with the necessary technical expertise and the document can be found on the DfT website.

Judicial Review

Fifteen local authorities, who are also members of the 51m group, have filed a claim for Judicial Review which challenges the Government’s proposals.

The are seven grounds for the legal challenge.

The press release issued by 51m on 3 April includes a useful description of the Judicial Review process and can be read on the 51m website. A judicial review is a form of court proceeding in which a judge reviews the lawfulness of a decision by a public body. It is a challenge to the way the decision has been made and is not concerned with the decision. It is a challenge of the process that has been followed.

The Secretary of State now has 21 days before the next stage of the process begins.

If you require any further clarification please do not hesitate to contact Mandy Walker or Sara Board on 01926 412830 or email: HS2@warwickshire.gov.uk.

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