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HS2 - Judicial Review Due Next Friday


3:20pm 7th March 2013

The High Court is expected to give its ruling next week on a battery of legal challenges to the Government's HS2 high-speed rail scheme.

Opponents are asking a judge in London to declare the multi-billion pound project legally flawed and send it back for reconsideration.

The first phase of HS2 would see a high-speed railway line running through Tory heartlands from London to Birmingham.

The scheme has polarised opinion, with many residents' groups and local councils bitterly opposing it, but supporters point out the benefits of a reduction in journey times between the UK's two biggest cities.

If successful, the legal challenge could potentially delay the scheme for years.

Judgment is expected to be given by Mr Justice Ouseley on Friday next week.

Key accusations include assertions that the Government failed to undertake a strategic environmental assessment of the entire project before giving the go-ahead, or to arrange a consultation process "that allows informed responses on the true merits and demerits of the proposals".

Among other challenges, there is a dispute over the compensation arrangements being put in place for homeowners living near the HS2 line.

Some 172,000 properties within 1km of the first phase are alleged to be affected by "a generalised blight" since the proposals were announced.

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