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HS2 campaigners take challenge to High Court
9:30am Tuesday 4th December 2012 in Countywide
CAMPAIGNERS fighting Government proposals to build a high-speed rail link that would cut through Oxfordshire have taken their case to the High Court.
The London-Birmingham link would cut across north-east Oxfordshire, near Finmere, close to the Northamptonshire border.
Five separate legal challenges to the Government’s £33bn HS2 project will be heard this week in the High Court, starting yesterday. The series of hearings will look at allegations the Government failed to consult properly and based its approval for the line on inadequate environmental information.
Conservative-controlled Cherwell District Council is among 18 local authorities that form the 51M group to challenge the plans.
Cherwell’s lead member for planning Michael Gibbard said: “Cherwell was one of the first authorities to oppose this colossal white elephant. It is unfortunate we have had to take this step, but we maintain that this scheme is fundamentally flawed.”
Mark Barton, of pressure group Village of Oxfordshire Opposed to HS2, which backs 51M’s action, said: “We want to have the consultation re-done so it conforms with the law, and we get proper proposals, a proper environmental impact assessment and proper consideration to all routes.”
A Department for Transport spokesman said: “While it would not be appropriate to comment on the specific claims, the Government is confident that the decisions on HS2 have been taken lawfully and fairly and it is vigorously defending these legal challenges.”
A decision is expected in January.
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