Thursday 23 January 2014
There has been good news, although also a lot of confusion, this week for everyone wading their way through the vast number of HS2 Environmental Statement documents. The consultation on the ES was originally due to close on 24th January, but two separate committees in Parliament have forced the consultation deadline back as a response to HS2 Ltd's error in missing out 877 pages from the consultation documents.
First the House of Commons Standing Orders Committee ruled that the consultation should be re-started from the date (16th December) that the missing pages were re-instated, moving the deadline to 10th February. On Tuesday the equivalent Committee in the House of Lords ruled that the consultation period should have been re-started on January 2nd, which means the deadline for responses is now 27th February.
The result is that opponents of the HS2 scheme will get around 3 months (including the Christmas holiday period) to wade through the 50,000 pages of the ES, instead of the original woefully-short 56 days allowed by the Department for Transport.
The extended period for the consultation means that the whole timetable for the HS2 Hybrid Bill will be delayed, with the Second Reading taking place after Easter now.
Visit the Department for Transport website for all the Environmental Statement documents and information on how to respond to the consultation