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HS2 Objections Build

HS2 Objections Build

The House of Commons environmental audit committee has said that areas of irreplaceable natural value along the route of the HS2 rail project, including ancient woodlands that are the home to rare bats and butterflies, are at risk of being subordinated to “crude economic calculations”.

Trains must go slower

The report adds that better safeguards for the countryside must be imposed, and warns that the high-speed trains of HS2 must run slower than the 225mph planned if the £43bn rail scheme is to be built without excessive damage to the environment.

The recommended slower speed of 185mph would add ten minutes to the predicted journey time from London to Birmingham, making it only 25 minutes quicker than current trains.

The MPs urge the government to consider limiting the trains’ speed to curb carbon emissions through lower energy consumption – at least until sufficient greener sources of electricity are available.

The committee also calls for the ring-fencing of cash to preserve natural habitat (pdf), to prevent HS2 Ltd scrimping on measures that rail engineers deem impractical.

The first phase of HS2, between London and Birmingham, is due to open in 2026, with lines extending to Manchester and Leeds by 2033 – although the incoming chairman of HS2, David Higgins, recently said construction could be brought forward by several years.

At IBB Solicitors, our extensive knowledge of development and property law, as well as an intimate understanding of a wide range of additional legislation has helped those affected to gain compensation for loss of land or potential impact to their business or home.

Senior MPs launch formal objections

Senior Conservatives Michael Fabricant, the Tory vice-chairman, and Cheryl Gillan M.P. have launched formal objections to HS2 plans which threaten to hold up Parliamentary approval for the scheme. They claim the line will devastate the environment and fail to produce the economic benefits which have been promised.

Mrs Gillan, whose Chesham and Amersham constituency lies along the proposed route, says that people living along the route have been given “inadequate” opportunities to study the full evidence after Patrick McLoughlin, the Transport Secretary, refused to publish an official report which is believed to have criticised the plans.

HS2 compensation concerns

Mr Fabricant argues that compensation for people whose homes have been blighted by the proposed route is “inadequate”. Elsewhere, Camden Council has complained that Londoners living along the proposed route of HS2 are being offered a raw deal on compensation compared with those in rural areas.

In rural areas, it is proposed that homes will be purchased under generous terms by the Government if they are within 120 metres of the line, which would disrupt daily life.

However this scheme does not apply in London, as HS2 argues that those living in dense urban areas will be insulated by other buildings and suffer less. If your home or business is in the proposed pathway of HS2, or is likely to be adversely affected by the construction of this controversial rail route, we can help. Call us on 01895 207988. Alternatively, email us at propertydisputes@ibblaw.co.uk.

Ruislip sewer fears

Meanwhile, local people are concerned that HS2 will block access to schools and homes and cause traffic chaos if it has to divert a sewer in West End Road, Ruislip

IBB has one of the largest real estate groups in West London and the South East, with expertise in commercial real estate, residential development, real estate finance, construction and real estate dispute resolution. Contact a member of the team by visiting the relevant service page, or you can call us on 08456 381 381 or email enquiries@ibblaw.co.uk.