Hero Granger-Taylor denied appeal against HS2 Ltd. but will pursue company for ‘duty of candour’

Posted on: 27th October 2020

Ms Hero Granger-Taylor has been denied the right to appeal in her Judicial Review case against HS2 Ltd. which argued that the ‘Three Tunnels’ design risked the catastrophic collapse of the cutting retaining wall along Park Village East at the Euston Approaches.

On 5 June, Mr. Justice Jay ruled in favour of HS2 Ltd. and the Secretary of State for Transport. The right to appeal was denied by Rt. Hon. Lady Justice Andrews DBE on 12 October.

Ms Granger-Taylor’s grounds for appeal lay with the argument that the Defendants had failed in their duty of candour to disclose all relevant evidence to the Judge during proceedings, namely crucial calculations said to confirm that the ‘Three Tunnels’ design could be constructed safely.

Ms Granger-Taylor said: “So far, HS2 Ltd. has failed to disclose the calculations which formed the basis of our grounds of appeal. My legal team and I have written twice to HS2 Ltd. since Mr. Justice Jay’s judgment of 5 June asking them to send the calculations, but they have not responded. As a result, I will be pursuing HS2 Ltd. for the missing information through the Freedom Of Information process.

“As the construction of HS2 is a public function, HS2 Ltd. and the Secretary of State for Transport have a duty of candour to disclose all information which may affect the public. As Mrs. Justice Lang wrote in her Disclosure Order of 28 April: “Where the First Defendant [HS2 Ltd.] refers to a document in its evidence, that document ought to be disclosed.”

The UK Government is still to respond to the Oakervee Review of HS2, published in February 2020, in which major concerns were raised over the design for the Euston Approaches. Mr Justice Jay acknowledged in June that the Government response to the review still has the potential to derail the ‘Three Tunnels’ design altogether.

Jayesh Kunwardia, Partner at Hodge Jones & Allen, who represents Ms Granger-Taylor, said:
“Although our substantive challenge has concluded with no right of any further appeal, we are very keen to keep under close review the developments regarding the ‘Three Tunnels’ design and to reassess the merits of reopening the matter when the Government’s decision on Oakervee is announced. In our view, it would be wholly irrational for the Government to ignore the findings made in the Oakervee report that describe HS2 Ltd.’s current proposals for the Euston Approaches as carrying “major risks” (9.17).”

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