On 21 July, in the High Court, Sir Duncan Ouseley dismissed the appeals brought by Buckinghamshire Council to quash decisions made by the Planning Inspectors to allow four environmentally damaging lorry routes submitted by HS2 Limited in 2021.
Councillor Steven Broadbent, Cabinet Member for Transport at the Council said:
“We are bitterly disappointed with the result but the decision to go ahead and take these appeals to the High Court was always the right thing to do for our residents and communities. Following robust Counsel advice, we believe we had strong and very valid reasons to challenge the decisions of the Inspectors in allowing lorry routes to be used which will have an enormous and detrimental impact on our local roads.
We and other local authorities are already limited in our overall influence and control on much of the HS2 scheme and last week’s High Court decision puts a further financial burden on us to provide more and more evidence when challenging anything HS2 does in our area. This is so unjust when our residents are already covering the cost of a huge infrastructure project whose construction is causing disruption to a wide swath of Buckinghamshire.
We have now met with our legal representatives to discuss next steps and after careful consideration we have decided not to appeal the decision.
I want to assure residents that we will fully use the limited powers we have. We will hold HS2 Limited and their contractors to account, and continue to work tirelessly to mitigate the impact of the construction and the project on our local communities, environment and infrastructure – doing whatever we can to influence the design of the railway, the lorry routes and traffic management to reduce the impact of the scheme.”