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Resident wins permission for judicial review challenge over HS2 tunnel design near Euston station

A resident who lives near the planned route of the High Speed 2 (HS2) rail line has won the right to bring a judicial review against its tunnel design under London’s Euston station.

Hero Granger-Taylor argues that the three tunnels design at Euston would pose a  “catastrophic” threat to lives and nearby property

Law firm Hodge Jones & Allen (HJA) said Mrs Justice Lang gave Ms Granger-Taylor permission to proceed with a judicial review claim and that HS2 Ltd has been given 21 days to produce evidence in response to this, which it said the company had failed to provide in the seven months since she began her case.

The judge considered Ms Granger-Taylor’s claim arguable 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).

HJA said a report by specialist railway engineer Colin Elliff had found the three tunnels design could cause a 10-metre high, 120-year-old wall to collapse into the new tunnels or onto the existing line, potentially crushing railway passengers.

The unstable retaining wall would cause 130 tonnes per metre of pressure downwards onto the proposed 9.0m wide tunnel just 1.5m below.

Any collapse could cause serious damage to houses in Park Village East, a group of Grade 2* listed buildings, it was claimed.

HJA partner Jayesh Kunwardia said: “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 has used a crowd justice page to finance her action.

An HS2 Ltd spokesperson said: “The court’s decision does not mean that Ms 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.”

Mark Smulian

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