HS2 challenges may go to Europe

Thursday 23 January 2014

Anti-HS2 campaigners may take their challenges to Europe, after they were rejected by the Supreme Court yesterday.

The HS2 Action Alliance said they would be bringing complaints to Europe's compliance committee and to the European Commission over the Supreme Court's refusal to refer their appeal to the European Court.

The Supreme Court yesterday dismissed appeals brought by three ant-HS2 groups: the HS2 Action Alliance, the 51M group of local authorities and Heathrow Hub Ltd. The apeals were based on two grounds: that the Government failed to comply with the EU Strategic Environmental Assessment Directive in its planning of the HS2 scheme, and that the Hybrid Bill on HS2, currently before Parliament, does not comply with the EU Environmental Assessment Directive.

Hilary Wharf, Director of the HS2 Action Alliance, commented: "We will continue to press the Government to meet its environmental obligations. The simple fact is that HS2 is an unnecessary and hugely damaging project environmentally."

Commenting on the outcome of the appeals, the 51M group of local authorities said it was important to remember that the Supreme Court was concerned not with the merits of the HS2 scheme but with the manner in which the Government was seeking to implement it. It was clear from the judgement that the judges accepted they had extremely difficult issues to grapple with.



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