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Hodge Jones & Allen’s judicial review challenge to HS2 Ltd’s Three Tunnel Design into the Euston Approaches

Posted on 14th October 2019

Hodge Jones and Allen Solicitors are representing a client in a judicial review challenge to HS2 Ltd’s failure to conduct a fresh Environmental Impact Assessment in relation to their new Three Tunnel Design into the Euston Approaches.

Background

In March 2017 shortly after the HS2 Bill was passed, HS2 Ltd announced a major change to the design of the proposed HS2 railway as it goes through the Euston Approaches north of Euston Station. The new design involves moving the HS2 tracks to a lower level into three tunnels and a vast cavern. Instead of being restricted to the Camden Cutting, as the original design was, the new design covers a larger area, with two of the tunnels passing under the early 20th century Park Village East retaining wall and coming close below some of the Grade II* listed houses that are part of John Nash’s scheme for Regent’s Park.

The Challenge

In the claim issued today in the High Court, we are arguing that the HS2 plans have significantly changed to the extent that a fresh Environmental Impact Assessment is necessary. Our instructed expert has advised that the Park Village East retaining wall could collapse given the proximity of the tunnels to the wall under the new design.

There is evidence that the Three Tunnel Design poses a serious risk of loss of life and of causing great damage to properties in the area. Our client decided to take legal action to hold HS2 Ltd to account and force HS2 Ltd to provide disclosure about the impact of their plans on her home and that of her community in North London.

This challenge is headed up by Jayesh Kunwardia who is the Head of Housing and Property Litigation and who has conducted similarly complex and high profile challenges in the past.

Jayesh Kunwardia comments, “We have made repeated requests for information from HS2 Ltd about the Three Tunnels design, but nothing new has been forthcoming. There is evidence that the proposed scheme poses a serious risk of loss of life and of causing great damage to properties in the area. It is unacceptable that they have not given us sight of a complete set of drawings and our client is left with no other choice but to take HS2 Ltd to court. If HS2 Ltd are confident in the railway design for the Euston Approaches, they should be providing the assurances which our client has sought in this case.”

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