HS2’S ‘HEATH ROBINSON PLANS’ CHALLENGED

Resident wins right to bring legal case against HS2 Ltd for tunnel design under Euston which poses ‘catastrophic’ threat to lives and property

A local resident has been granted permission by the High Court to bring legal proceedings against HS2 Ltd for its ‘Three Tunnels’ design into Euston Station – described as ‘Heath Robinson plans’ by local anti-HS2 campaigner Martin Sheppard – claiming that it will endanger the lives and properties of residents nearby.

Mrs Justice Lang DBE yesterday gave Ms Hero Granger-Taylor permission to proceed with the Judicial Review claim she has been fighting for since June 2019.

Mr Sheppard went on to say: “Hero’s case has underlined the potential and real destruction HS2 threatens in Camden. It highlights yet again HS2’s typical mixture of arrogance, incompetence and secrecy. It indeed raises a large question mark about HS2’s ability to solve the major engineer challenges posed to it it by its own absurd over design.”

HS2 Ltd have been ordered to furnish within 21 days the evidence in response to the claim, which in the seven months since proceedings began they have failed to provide.

The judge considered Ms Granger-Taylor’s claim to be arguable on the grounds that HS2 Ltd’s Three Tunnels Design impacts on her rights under Article 8 (right to respect for one’s family life and home) and Article 1 and Protocol 1 (right to peaceful enjoyment of their possessions).

HS2 Ltd’s Three Tunnel Design has added greatly to the stress experienced by local residents.

An expert report conducted by the specialist railway engineer Colin Elliff has revealed the Design could cause a huge 10-metre high, 120-year-old wall to collapse into the new tunnels below or onto the existing West Coast main line, potentially crushing railway passengers. Evidence shows the unstable retaining wall causing 130 tonnes per metre of pressure downwards onto the proposed 9m wide tunnel just 1.5m below.

The report supports the notion that HS2 Ltd’s Three Tunnels Design is a hugely dangerous proposal which causes risk to life. At the same time, any collapse could cause seriousdamagetothehousesinParkVillageEast. The properties affected are Grade2* Listed Buildings which form part of the John Nash design plans for Regent’s Park.

Jayesh Kunwardia, Partner at Hodge Jones & Allen, who represents Ms Granger-Taylor, said: “Understandably, we and Ms Granger-Taylor are delighted with the result of the hearing. The judge recognises our claim that the Three Tunnels Design is a potentially lethal proposal and of great concern to the local residents. This latest outcome may result in HS2 Ltd taking the view that the Three Tunnels Design is unworkable and therefore being forced to reconsider the entire scheme.”

Ms Granger-Taylor, who lives half a mile from Euston Station, said: “People in the Euston area have now suffered for ten years the huge uncertainty which the HS2 Ltd scheme has brought with it. It is a real relief to have been vindicated by the law. I am heartened that this decision will have thrown a small spanner into the works of the behemoth which is HS2 Ltd. The lives and properties of those near to Euston cannot just be ignored and we demand proof of basic safety measures so that no lives are at risk.”

The return hearing will take place in May 2020.

Ms Granger-Taylor is attempting to fund the judicial review challenge through Crowd Justice. Donations can be made at https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/hs2accountability/

© 2020 Joanna Reeves, all rights reserved.

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