Legal Challenge

About the Legal Challenge

In 2012 Camden joined the challenge taken by various local authorities along the route of the Government’s decision to proceed with High Speed Two.

There were seven grounds to the local authorities claim. These related to various matters, based on the process undertaken by the then Secretary of State in reaching her decision to proceed with the scheme being legally flawed.

Our grounds for the challenge included:

  • the incompatibility of the Hybrid Bill procedure with the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive;
  • lack of compliance with EU Directives relating to various environmental matters;
  • failure to undertake an Equalities Impact Assessment; and irrationality relating to (a) inadequate consideration of onward passenger movement at Euston Station, (b) the Heathrow spur route and (c) lack of business or transport case for the HS2/ HS1 link.

In December 2012 the judicial reviews were heard at the Royal Courts of Justice. The High Court rejected all of the local authorities’ claims, but allowed HS2 Action Alliance’s ground of appeal relating to compensation consultation. Following the High Court decision on the judicial review of HS2, the local authorities submitted their two appeal applications to the Court of Appeal on Friday 5 April 2013. The Court of Appeal hearing went ahead in June, and the judgment was handed down in July 2013. In a majority decision, the Court of Appeal refused all of the local authorities grounds of appeal from the High Court.

In July 2013 after seriously considering the Court of Appeal decision and carefully reviewing the options available, Camden decided to continue to challenge the government’s decision to proceed with HS2 by appealing to the Supreme Court with other affected local authorities.

In October 2013 our case was heard by the Supreme Court which unanimously dismissed the local authorities’ claim. 

Latest news on the legal challenge process:

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