County council’s action will ‘pave the way’ for future challenges to HS2

Computer-generated visuals of a high speed train
Computer-generated visuals of a high speed train

Concerns raised by Warwickshire County Council over the accuracy of HS2’s initial Environmental Statement data and the risks this posed to petitioners will pave the way for communities to challenge the company.

This is the council’s view after a hearing at Westminster in which The chair of the Parliamentary HS2 select committee Robert Syms MP said: “On the Environmental Statement, we found the session with Warwickshire County Council very useful in clarifying expectations and allowing certain helpful explanations and positions to be put on record.”

These comments related to a submission by Nathalie Lieven QC, on behalf of Warwickshire County Council, to the select committee on October 28.

In the submission, Ms Lieven outlined the county council’s concerns about the accuracy of the initial Environmental Statement data and the risk posed to petitioners because of the original deficiencies contained in HS2’s document.

Cllr Bob Stevens, Warwickshire County Council’s Cabinet member for HS2, said: “This is a significant statement from the HS2 select committee chair in that it acknowledges the crucial points made by Warwickshire on the clear data deficiencies contained in HS2 Ltd’s original Environmental Statement.

“This will now open the door for community groups and individual petitioners along the route to challenge the content of the document when their turn comes to present their cases.”

“The MP’s have heard about the many ways the HS2 scheme affects our services and communities, and we firmly believe that the committees’ comments justify our strategy and confirm that we have succeeded in bringing the most important matters to their attention.”

During the county council’s select committee appearance agreement was reached on issues including improvements for Kenilworth Greenway and new cycle bridge over the Fosse Way at Offchurch,