The HS2 Judicial Review reaches the Supreme Court today, with three separate cases, bought by local councils , HS2AA and the Heathrow Hub.
The court case can be watched live on the Sky News website – Supreme Court Live – from 10.30 am this morning.
Last week, some of the councils involved in the court case wrote an open letter outlining their objections to the scheme.
The Government’s flagship infrastructure project will face yet more scrutiny in the Supreme Court on 15th and 16th October when ten local authorities make their case against the High Speed 2 (HS2) railway.
The Government appears determined to push ahead with the project without considering if the objectives of the scheme could be achieved in a different way with less cost to the country and reduced impacts on local communities. The Councils also believe HS2 to be fundamentally flawed because of the substantial environmental impact of the current proposals, and by failing to take account of these impacts believe the government is acting unlawfully. This is before considering the £50bn expenditure on a project with an uncertain economic case.
The impact is catastrophic along the line between London and Birmingham. In Camden alone there is an estimated ‘bricks and mortar’ cost of some £1.3bn from lost housing, business premises, open spaces and potentially jeopardised school premises. Lost regeneration opportunities could be worth a further £5bn.
Natural and built environments the length of the HS2 route are similarly affected, with destruction of ancient woodland, habitat and ecological loss alongside loss of homes, businesses and communities. In some cases these are priceless assets that are irreplaceable, whilst in others they represent the loss of livelihoods and enterprises built up over generations.
HS2 in its current form is nothing but bad news for both Camden and the vast majority of communities along the line, who receive all of the blight and none of the benefits. As such the Councils in 51m will continue to oppose the scheme. The Supreme Court case presented by the local authorities is another chance for the government to reconsider its plans and look at alternatives to HS2 that that will drive economic growth around the UK.
Cllr Valerie Leach, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Camden Council
Cllr Nick Rose, Leader, Chiltern District Council