HS2: Government wants to face all its critics at once as delay threat mounts

03 May 2012


The Department for Transport has requested that the five calls for a judicial review of its decision to approve a high-speed rail link between London and Birmingham be heard together in the High Court in October.

If the High Court gives the green light to the judicial reviews, the cases, especially if heard individually, could considerably delay the project and lead to significant changes.

A Department for Transport spokesman said: “The line of the route between London and the West Midlands has been continually improved to mitigate the impact on those living near it and the environment.

“We believe we have struck the right balance between the reasonable concerns of people living on or near the line, who will be offered a package of compensation measures, the environment and the need to keep Britain moving.”

Opponents of HS2 have also seized on a recent study that confirmed the economic benefits of the scheme based on the amount invested could be significantly less than predicted.

The groups calling for a judicial review are:

  • 51M, a group of 18 largely rural councils and the London Borough of Camden
  • HS2 Alliance, which comprises over 70 local interest groups (two challenges)
  • Heathrow Hub Ltd, a company established to develop proposals for a transport interchange connecting HS2 with Heathrow, Crossrail, the M25 and Eurostar
  • Aylesbury Park Golf Club, part of which will be lost to the proposed line

Knight Frank has set up a dedicated HS2 team to help those affected. The team has over 100 years’ combined experience dealing with other major infrastructure schemes such as the M25, Stansted Airport and the Channel Tunnel Rail Link (HS1). Unlike some other property consultants Knight Frank works only for affected property owners, not HS2 Ltd or the government, and therefore has no conflicts of interest.

More details and the latest scheme updates are also available at www.knightfrank.co.uk/hs2 and you can follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/knighfrankhs2