Posted 12th November 2012 | 7 Comments
Design panel set to advise on HS2 route
THE FINAL ROUTE of the first phase of HS2 is to be guided by the views of an expert design panel, it is reported.
The transport secretary is due to announce tomorrow that the route of the High Speed line between London, Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds will 'respect' rural areas. His move is thought to be a bid to mollify opponents of the project ahead of December's judicial review in the High Court.
Patrick McLoughlin is set to unveil his new design panel when he makes a speech to the Campaign to Protect Rural England tomorrow.
He is expected to say that: “I’m particularly keen to ensure high quality design for structures along the HS2 route – and to give communities confidence that they will be as sensitive as possible to the character of their setting,” according to the Financial Times.
A High Court judge has set aside eight days for the judicial review, which will start on 3 December. The cases are being brought by the HS2 Action Alliance along with 51M, Heathrow Hub and Aylesbury Golf Club.
Some costs will be capped, and there could be further claims to come. The court will consider whether former transport secretary Justine Greening acted lawfully when she approved HS2 in January this year, and part of the argument will be based on the fact that some responses to last year's consultation were overlooked.
According to the HS2 Action Alliance 'the secretary of state has been required to provide a full explanation for what happened'.
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