Judicial review decision into high speed rail announced

15 March 2013

Judicial review decision into high speed rail announced
Today has seen Lord Justice Ouseley give his verdict on the
Judicial Review into High Speed Rail 2 in which
Warwickshire County Council was one of 15 councils opposing
the conduct of the government and HS2 Ltd’s conduct.
Cllr Bob Stevens, Deputy Leader of Warwickshire County
Council, said: “We are disappointed at the outcome of the
judicial review. Taking the case to court was a last resort
because HS2 Ltd has consistently failed to listen to our
concerns. We feel the Government had a case to answer
around following the proper legal process in reaching its
decision to go ahead with the project.

We issued the legal challenge to the Government on the high
speed rail plans on the grounds that HS2 officials carried
out an ‘unfair consultation and inadequate environmental
assessment’, and that they decided to proceed with the Y
route  – north of Birmingham to Manchester and Leeds –
without properly consulting those who will be affected.

We are now considering the implications of the judgement.
Any further action in the courts will be a matter for
discussion with other 51m local authorities affected.

Since the conclusion of the judicial review hearing we have
seen the Government press ahead with the proposed route for
phase two, the Y route, which will carve through yet more
of Warwickshire’s countryside and decimate communities in
North Warwickshire as well as our well-loved and valued
country  parks at Kingsbury and Pooley.”

Warwickshire County Council remains opposed to the HS2
project and agreed to work with other local authorities as
part of the 51M Group – a consortium opposed to the HS2
proposals – which is providing a co-ordinated opposition to
the scheme.

Cllr Stevens was part of a Warwickshire delegation who met
the Secretary of State for Transport  Patrick McLoughlin in
London this week to put his views across.

Cllr Alan Cockburn, Portfolio Holder for Sustainable
Communities, added: “We are dismayed with Lord Justice
Ouseley’s verdict.

The county council has to be pragmatic and engage with HS2
Ltd if we are to stand any hope of protecting what is left
of our precious countryside and its communities.  To that
end, while we remain opposed to the scheme we accept that
there is no sensible alternative but to continue our
unwavering approach of scrutiny at every level of the HS2