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HS2 given green light
SUPPORTERS of HS2 claimed a victory in the High Court after judges effectively signalled a green light for the rail scheme.
Nine out of ten legal challenges against the £32 billion high speed railway line were dismissed on March 15.
However, the judicial review concluded that the consultation into compensation for those affected by the proposed route was inadequate.
Five judicial reviews were brought by four protest groups, comprising 18 councils and High Speed 2 Action Alliance (HS2AA), which represents more than 70 affiliated groups and residents' associations.
The Government has said that re-running the consultation would not delay the construction of HS2, which splits into a Y-shaped network to Manchester and Leeds north of Birmingham.
The line will bypass Crewe in a tunnel under the existing West Coast Main Line (WCML).
However, new 225mph capable of running on HS2 will connect to Crewe’s existing station via a junction with the WCML at Basford.
Mr Justice Ouseley agreed that it was lawful for the Government to choose to rule out upgrading the existing railway network as a credible alternative to HS2.
He noted that a ‘patch and mend’ approach failed to meet the Government’s objectives of providing a long term boost to capacity and economic growth.
Of the re-run consultation, Iain Johnston, planning partner at law firm Brabners Chaffe Street, said: “This may be good news for those landowners and residents who, under the existing compensation package would potentially lose out but still be subject to general blight on their properties for many years.”
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