High Speed 2 gets go ahead at Judicial Review – Camden Council pledges to appeal
By poppy_smith | Tuesday, March 19, 2013, 10:27
Camden and 14 other councils have lost their Judicial Review claim in the High Court .
A Judge has ruled the government's decision over the London to Birmingham line lawful, meaning the £33billion scheme can proceed.
Just one of the seven claims made against the government was successful.
Camden Council's Leader, Councillor Sarah Hayward joined opposition groups at the Royal Courts of Justice to pledge an appeal against the decision.
Councillor Hayward said: "We are disappointed with this judgement and will continue to fight this fundamentally flawed scheme. We feel a poor decision has been made today, which fails to fully grapple with our case or the parliamentary process and demonstrates a misinterpretation of the law.
"We have said all along that the government and HS2 Limited have made no proper assessment of the disruption and damage High Speed 2 will cause."
Camden is the most affected area along the proposed London to Birmingham line of HS2, with £1billion damages estimated for the borough and hundreds of homes marked for demolition.
Cllr Hayward added: "The Judge dismissed our claims because he felt that no "decisions" had been made to proceed with HS2. Yet clearly the government has taken the decision to go ahead with this scheme already. Moreover, the Judge did not say our Claim was without merit, simply that it was too early to make a decision.
"We felt we should challenge these now and not wait for more years of planning and public money to be wasted on this project.
Camden challenged the government over their plans for Euston station and failure to meet the Equality Act 2010.
Cllr Hayward added: "Where we challenged their failure to plan for a rise in passenger capacity at Euston station, the judge deemed the proposals 'foolish' yet not unlawful.
"Where we challenged the government's neglect to carry out an equalities impact assessment before making their decisions on HS2, the judge said ethnicity had nothing to do with the decision making process. HS2 has a clear, disproportionate impact on our Bangladeshi communities in Camden.
"We feel that this judgement misses the point of our case, misinterprets the law and fails to recognise the devastating impact this will have on Camden and we will be appealing for these reasons."
The decision found in favour by the Judge was HS2 Action Alliance's challenge against the government's compensation consultation.
Councillor Hayward added: "We have said all along, the government's lack of a proper consultation has been clear and we are pleased that the judge agrees in this area of the case. The judgement found the compensation consultation wrong, that it failed to inform people affected by HS2 and this means the government will need to look at this again."
Camden Council intends to pursue and appeal a number of grounds.
Councillor Hayward added: "By securing our right to appeal we can continue to fight to protect our communities from the destructive legacy HS2 will create for decades. This project should not proceed and we will continue to fight."