HS2

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

Hull Trains appoints new director ahead of £60m fleet arrival

19/11/2019Hull Trains appoints new director ahead of £60m fleet arrival

Hull Trains has made a new appointment, as Anne Somers joins the team as commercial and customer experience director. The appointment comes ... more >
Network Rail to improve accessibility at Spalding station

19/11/2019Network Rail to improve accessibility at Spalding station

Work to improve Spalding station’s accessibility will begin next month (Dec 3). Improvements to the station include step free access t... more >
FTA asks government to guarantee the future of HS2 for freight

18/11/2019FTA asks government to guarantee the future of HS2 for freight

The recent HS2 review uncertainty has prompted Freight Transport Association (FTA) to request confirmation from government on the future of HS2. ... 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

Maximising efficiency requires investment in data, but it’s rewards for rail could be extensive

14/11/2019Maximising efficiency requires investment in data, but it’s rewards for rail could be extensive

Rail Technology Magazine’s Matt Roberts explains the significant role data can play within the future development of the rail industry. Standing as a cornerstone of the UK transport network, the rail industry is forever striving to innovate and maximise efficiency in all aspects of its work. Data is just one such way of achievi... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

comment

The challenge of completing Crossrail

05/07/2019The challenge of completing Crossrail

With a new plan now in place to deliver Crossrail, Hedley Ayres, National Audit Office manager, major projects and programmes, takes a look at ho... more >
Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

04/07/2019Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

The move to decarbonise the rail network involves shifting to cleaner modes of traction by 2050. David Clarke, technical director at the Railway ... more >
Sunshine future beckons for South Wales Railways, says 10:10 Climate Action’s Leo Murray

02/07/2019Sunshine future beckons for South Wales Railways, says 10:10 Climate Action’s Leo Murray

Smart electrification is the way to boost clean energy resources, argues Leo Murray, director at 10:10 Climate Action. Contractors are clear... more >
Ambition doesn’t have to be expensive, says Midland Connect's Maria Machancoses

02/07/2019Ambition doesn’t have to be expensive, says Midland Connect's Maria Machancoses

The TCR Midlands conference is only days away and tickets are going fast for the sector event of the year at the Vox Conference Centre in Birming... more >

rail industry focus

  • 15/11/2019A workforce which reflects society

    Loraine Martins MBE, Director of Diversity and Inclusion at Network Rail, joins us in the studio for the third episode of our RTM podcast, talking at...
  • 02/11/2019Monica Barbosa: Women In Rail

    Director of business development and communications at Xrail, Monica Barbosa, thinks women are missing out on exciting opportunities because the...
  • 01/11/2019The dangers of fatigues

    Working long hours, poor health, too little sleep, a demanding job and more can all make us tired and affect our mental and physical performance...
View all News

interviews

Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

24/06/2019Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

Andrew Haines, the Chief Executive of Network Rail, has told the Today programme on Radio 4's BBC’s flagship news programme that he wo... more >