HS2 judicial review: High Court proceeds Euston homeowner's fight against rail project that will 'endanger lives'
PUBLISHED: 12:59 20 January 2020 | UPDATED: 13:11 20 January 2020
A Euston homeowner will bring legal proceedings against HS2 after the High Court granted a judicial review into the major rail project's tunnel design.
Hero Granger-Taylor, 65, claims HS2's 'three tunnels' design will "endanger the lives and properties of residents nearby" the rail route, which will run through parts of Camden including South Hampstead and Primrose Hill.
Ms Granger-Taylor raised the case in June last year after a railway engineer's report claimed the possibility of a 'catastrophic collapse' of a retaining wall in Park Village East, near Mornington Crescent.
HS2, which has 21 days to respond to the claim, says its plans are produced by "world-renowned, experienced professional design consultants which are independently reviewed", and stresses the progression of the case does not indicate it will succeed.
Ms Granger-Taylor 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.
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"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 next hearing is due to take place in May after the High Court ruling on Thursday, January 16.
A spokesperson for HS2 said: "The court's decision does not mean that Mrs Hero Granger Taylor has been successful in her case.
"This is merely the court allowing her to have her case heard. In fact, a previous judge ruled that there was no case to answer in November 2019.
"As we build Britain's new high speed railway, safety is our top priority.
"At Euston, we are currently working through a rigorous design and independent checking process, including geological and structural testing, before we begin construction of the Euston approach tunnels. We are confident our work will be delivered safely."
Camden residents, including in Primrose Hill, Belsize and Regent's Park, have campaigned against HS2 due to environmental concerns over pollution and congestion.
Last month, transport secretary Grant Shapps said a decision would be made on HS2 once "all the facts were in", following a report by Lord Berkeley suggesting HS2's costs were out of control and its benefits overstated.
Today (January 20), a widely leaked government-commissioned review stated HS2 could cost up to £106 billion - a rise of up to 20% from HS2's own forecast four months ago.