Three weeks ahead of the Court of Appeal hearing HS2 judicial review appeals and on the same day as the NAO has issued a critical report on HS2 finances, DfT has begun two new HS2 consultations.
The consultations concern the Environment Statement for Phase 1 and the Phase 1 Design Refinements.
The Design Refinements cover 14 proposed changes to the route. They include:
- major changes at Euston Station;
- the widening of the North London Line viaduct between Kentish Town Road and Hawley Road;
- a new bored tunnel between Old Oak Common and Northolt; and
- minor spurs, cuttings and realignments to ensure that the future extension to Heathrow, Leeds and Manchester can be accommodated.
The draft EIA is a major document analysing both (a) overall effects of Phase 1 of HS2 and (b) localised effects by reference to the community forum areas identified for consultation purposes. A draft code of construction practice designed to explain measures to mitigate environmental effects during construction has been published at the same time
Both consultations run until 11 July 2013.
The consultations announced today provide an opportunity for property owners to engage with HS2 and try to influence consultation outcomes and/or at least mitigate effects of the proposals on their property. The considerations are much broader than the alignment of the route. Property owners have the potential to influence the limits of deviation for the route, whether the route is in tunnel or cutting, the arrangements for the station and transport hubs, construction methodology and methods to minimise the impact of the operation of HS2.
Experience gained on HS1, Crossrail and other major rail schemes is that early engagement is vital to success. The later one leaves it to engage, the less are the chances of securing change or in succeeding in one’s opposition.
If this information is relevant for you, you can read further information on HS2 project.