JUDICIAL review results into the legality of the Governments plans for a controversial rail route will be handed down at the Royal Courts of Justice this week.
It comes after more than 100 people attended a public meeting to discuss the potential impact of a controversial multi-billion high speed railway plan – HS2.
The Ashby, Measham & Moira Community Forum invited representatives from Leicestershire County and North West Leicestershire District Council’s as well as members of the public to its meeting at Ivanhoe College, in North Street, Ashby, last week.
In December 2012, five comprehensive cases were heard by Lord Justice Ouseley over a nine day period, questioning the legality of a host of issues including the alleged inadequate consultation, assessing the impact on communities, adequately assessing alternatives. Other issues included considering the impact of HS2 on other parts of the transport infrastructure, the chosen route including changing parts of the route post-consultation, and that the decision on compensation allegedly failed to meet Government promises and relied on undisclosed information.
The Birmingham to Manchester line will, under the Government’s proposals, come within hundreds of yards of Staffordshire villages including Whittington, Kings Bromley, Alrewas and Fradley. Meanwhile, the Birmingham to Leeds line will run straight through North West Leicestershire — passing through North West Leicestershire towns and villages including Measham, Moira and Ashby.
The total cost of the HS2 scheme is estimated to be £33 billion. The second phase of the project — linking Manchester and Leeds to Birmingham — will cost £18.2 billion.
The Government says HS2 will create 100,000 jobs, generate economic benefits of £47 billion and revenues of up to £34 billion over a 60-year period.
However, the district council has already agreed a motion to object to the Government’s proposed route through North West Leicestershire.
If the Government loses the Judicial Reviews and does not appeal, the HS2 project might be set back several years.