I am today (17 January 2017) publishing the department’s response to the Special Report from the House of Lords Select Committee for the HS2 Phase One hybrid Bill that was published on 15 December 2016.
The Lords Select Committee was tasked with considering petitions from those specially and directly affected by the Bill and subsequent additional provisions to the Bill. Their First Special Report concludes the Committee deliberations which began in May 2016. The Lords Select Committee considered 822 petitions lodged against the HS2 Phase One hybrid Bill. Of these, the locus of 278 petitions was successfully challenged. Of the remaining 544 petitions the Select Committee heard 314 petitions in formal session, with the remainder withdrawing, or choosing not to appear before the Select Committee, mainly as a result of successful prior negotiation with HS2 Ltd.
The Select Committee’s recent report summarises their hearings and contains modifications to the Bill powers, directions for action by the Promoter in a number of specific cases and more general recommendations on what actions the Promoter should take on a range of other issues.
In responding to the Select Committee we have confined our response to those areas of the report where the Select Committee has requested the government take action or where we believe a further clarification would be beneficial.
Alongside the response to the Select Committee report, we are also publishing the Statement of reasons command paper. The ‘Statement of reasons’ is required by Parliamentary Standing Order 83A in order to assist the House of Lords during the 3rd Reading of the HS2 Phase One hybrid Bill. This document summarises the work that has already been done to assess, control and mitigate the environmental impacts of HS2 Phase One, and explains why the government continues to take the view that the HS2 Phase One project is worthy of Parliament’s support.
Copies of the response to the Select Committee can be found on the GOV.UK. website. Copies of the Statement of reasons will be made available in the libraries of both Houses.