Awards, contracts & appointments

06.03.19

Government overturns council’s challenge against ecological work around HS2 Colne Valley Viaduct

The government has overruled a council’s decision to reject HS2’s application to build one of its ecological mitigation sites around the Colne Valley Viaduct.

Chris Grayling and James Brokenshire, in a letter to Hillingdon Council and HS2, revealed that they had given the ecological work the go-ahead after overturning the authority’s decision to refuse permission.

HS2 previously applied to the council for permission to carry out environmental mitigation works in preparation for the construction of a 3.4km long viaduct in the Colne Valley.

HS2 works around the valley have proved highly controversial amongst local politicians, residents, and campaign groups, and demonstrations have been held on the high-speed rail site regularly since 2017.

Hillingdon Council rejected the application, stating that HS2 had not provided enough information about the archaeological work to be carried out.

An independent panel planning inspector backed the council’s claim, finding that HS2 had provided sufficient information on the ecology work but not the archaeological aspects.

But now the transport and communities secretaries have overruled the council’s rejection, stating that they found “no legitimate basis for refusing to approve” the application.

The letter read: “They hereby allow HS2’s appeal and approve the Schedule 17 application for the creation of the Colne Valley Viaduct South Embankment wetland habitat ecological mitigation, comprising earthworks and fencing.”

Hillingdon Council can still request a judicial review of the government’s decision.

The wetland habitat site is due to be built around the viaduct and will include a mitigation pond, a reptile basking bank, two retreats for hibernating animals, and fencing.

The high-speed rail work around the Colne Valley Viaduct has faced protests and calls to be scrapped, with some campaigners demonstrating on the site and reportedly attaching themselves to trees and machinery to disrupt work.

The Guardian reported in February last year that 31 different incidents had occurred involving protestors since October 2017, and the DfT was granted an injunction to stop campaigners protesting on the construction site.

But in November, four environmental protestors managed to stop work on part of the HS2 rail link at the site, chaining themselves to chimney pieces despite the injunction in place.

The campaigners claim that HS2 will go through 100 acres of ancient woodlands and effect 2,400 different species of flora and fauna.

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

Meeting clients, suppliers and stepping forward

23/05/2019Meeting clients, suppliers and stepping forward

The Midlands 30-year plan will deliver many economic benefits and will need a wide and diverse supply chain to deliver some of the key projects. ... more >
WMCA on HS2 and supply chain opportunities

23/05/2019WMCA on HS2 and supply chain opportunities

In the latest Q&A series ahead of TransCityRail Midlands, we caught up with Laura Shoaf, Managing Director for TfWM (the transport arm o... more >
Northern leaders warn Treasury against scrapping under-fire HS2

23/05/2019Northern leaders warn Treasury against scrapping under-fire HS2

Scrapping HS2 would be a “disaster” and would undermine Britain’s “national prosperity for decades to come,” more t... more >

editor's comment

23/01/2018Out with the old...

Despite a few disappointing policy announcements, especially for the electrification aficionados amongst us, 2017 was, like Darren Caplan writes on page 20, a year generally marked by positive news for the rail industry. We polished off the iconic Ordsall Chord (p32), hit some solid milestones on Thameslink (p40), progressed on ambitious rolling stock orders (p16), and finally started moving forward on HS2 (p14) ‒ paving the way for a New Ye... read more >

last word

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

This summer, Arriva Group's CrossCountry and the Scout Association joined to launch a new partnership to promote rail safety among young people. Chris Leech MBE, business community manager at the... more > more last word articles >

'the sleepers' daily blog

Meeting clients, suppliers and stepping forward

23/05/2019Meeting clients, suppliers and stepping forward

The Midlands 30-year plan will deliver many economic benefits and will need a wide and diverse supply chain to deliver some of the key projects. We caught up with long running sponsors of TransCityRail, Bridgeway Consulting Limited, specialists in Site & Ground investigations, Geomatics and Infrastructure, to discuss why networking events ... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

comment

The railway franchising model is broken, and passengers are paying the price

13/05/2019The railway franchising model is broken, and passengers are paying the price

Meg Hillier, MP for Hackney South and Shoreditch and chair of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), gives her view on the state of the UK’s ... more >
NSAR: Tackling the digital skills shortage

13/05/2019NSAR: Tackling the digital skills shortage

The National Skills Academy for Rail (NSAR) chief executive Neil Robertson returns to write for RTM, this time, to assess the digital skills shor... more >
Delivering cost-effective electrification

13/05/2019Delivering cost-effective electrification

David Clarke, technical director of the Railway Industry Association (RIA), sets out the findings of a new report on how rail electrification can... more >
5G: An opportunity to revolutionise on-train connectivity

13/05/20195G: An opportunity to revolutionise on-train connectivity

Simon Holmes, group head of digital (engineering) at FirstGroup, introduces us to the 5G solution being delivered for the rail sector.  ... more >

rail industry focus

View all News

interviews

Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

08/05/2019Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

In answering the pressing questions of how current and future generations of managers can provide solutions to high-profile infrastructure projec... more >