An explanation of the judge’s ruling on the 10 challenges made against High Speed Rail 2 (HS2) and what this means for the project.
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Of the 10 broad areas of challenge made against HS2, the court has ruled categorically in the government’s favour on 9 of these. The judge:
- dismissed challenges to the fairness and lawfulness of the 2011 consultation on HS2 strategy and the phase one route
- rejected challenges that the government was required to comply with the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) Directive
- dismissed challenges that the government failed to comply with the Habitats Directive
- dismissed the challenge that the hybrid bill process could not comply with the Environmental Assessment Directive
- dismissed the challenge that the government is required to present the environmental impacts of the entire Y network to Parliament alongside the phase one bill
- dismissed challenges that the government has failed to comply with the Public Sector Equality Duty
- dismissed challenges that the Secretary of State for Transport’s decisions on Euston, the HS1 link, and the Heathrow spur were irrational
- dismissed the challenge that the Secretary of State for Transport has fettered his discretion, and predetermined the outcome of future aviation strategy
- dismissed the challenge that the government failed to properly consider the proposed route alternative submitted by the Aylesbury Park Golf Club claimants in response to the 2011 consultation
- upheld the challenge that the consultation process was unfair, because not enough information was provided to consultees and the criteria by which compensation options were considered were not adequately explained - he also found that the government had not fully considered HS2 Action Alliance’s detailed consultation response on compensation.