51M and HS2AA didn’t succeed with our recent Judicial Review appeal (yet)
All is not lost and we now take our fight to The Supreme Court and possibly to Europe. The government used the outcome of the court case to promote their commitment to fast tracking the HS2 project but do take the headlines with a pinch of salt as the background detail of the outcome tells a slightly different story.
If you are interested to read the full judgement click here
The Gazette published this story online
Hillingdon Council as part of 51M Group continue to oppose HS2 and are being joined by more Councils north of Birmingham along the Y Route. A statement from the Leader of Hillingdon Council can be read here and Ray Puddifoot assures us that he will continue to support our campaign and is committed to fighting HS2.
Following the Court of Appeal outcome on Wednesday HS2AA said:
The three Court of Appeal judges considering HS2 Action Alliance’s case were divided on whether a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) should have been undertaken for the proposed high speed line. Two judges (the Master of the Rolls and Lord Justice Richards) found against HS2AA and one judge (Lord Justice Sullivan) found for HS2AA.
In light of this split decision HS2AA asked that the Supreme Court now hear the matter and the Court of Appeal granted this request.
The SEA case rested on four key issues. Whilst, on three of these, all three judges agreed HS2AA was right, on the fourth, only one judge agreed with our position.
Commenting on the decision, Hilary Wharf, director, HS2AA, said;
“We will continue our fight to make sure that the Government does not duck its environmental responsibilities over HS2. We can see from the Phase 1 Draft Environmental Statement that cost savings are the top priority rather than protecting irreplaceable landscapes for future generations. The Government must properly take the environment into account.
“There is little case law on the specific point of law on which we lost. We are confident that our position is a strong one and we are pleased that the Court has allowed our appeal to the Supreme Court.
“It’s concerning however that we have to go to the highest court in the land to make the Government give the environment the respect it deserves”.