HS2 appeal hearing (Packham -v- The Secretary of State for Transport and others)

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Starmill

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Well I b----y well hope so ! I agree with the right to appeal but surely to goodness there has to be a stop somewhere.
I think that if the appeal were allowed the case would only be remitted to the High Court for reconsideration anyway? Unless the Court of Appeal made another order.

I think Packahm is just asking for permission to proceed with the Judicial Review.
 

CW2

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Packham and co are shot down at every turn.
It's notable that Lord Berkeley comes in for some particularly strong criticism (in the nicest possible legal terms). This cannot have done his reputation any good.
 

Bald Rick

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That document is from the previous judgement a couple of months ago. Is there any news on the case being heard yesterday?
 

JonathanH

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That document is from the previous judgement a couple of months ago. Is there any news on the case being heard yesterday?
My take on it was that essentially, the QC for Chris Packham is pushing the idea that the Oakervee review didn't include enough information on environmental concerns and required the decision makers (the Cabinet) to go elsewhere to take these into account which it isn't clear they did. He makes the case that because the BCR is less now than it was previously, if you also take environmental concerns into consideration proceeding wouldn't make economic sense.

The QC for the government responded along the lines that the Oakervee review is more about how to proceed rather than whether to proceed and that major projects can't protect all possible environmental concerns. There is no way that it could be argued that the decision makers were blind to the environmental issues.

The appeal judges go away to consider.

https://www.eveningexpress.co.uk/li.../chris-packham-pursues-legal-action-over-hs2/

Chris Packham pursues legal action over HS2

A major review of the HS2 rail scheme gave a “very incomplete assessment of environmental matters”, the Court of Appeal has been told.

This meant that the Government gave the green light to the scheme based on a “complete misapprehension” of the environmental impact, lawyers for Chris Packham argue.

The TV presenter is pursuing a legal challenge at the Court of Appeal against the Government over its decision to give the go-ahead to HS2.

Mr Packham took his case to the High Court in April, seeking an emergency injunction to stop works he claimed would cause destruction or “irreversible and irreparable loss” to ancient woodland sites.

He applied for the order as part of his attempt to bring a legal challenge against the Government over HS2.

But two senior judges refused Mr Packham permission to bring a claim against the Government’s decision and did not grant the injunction.

Announcing the court’s decision, Lord Justice Coulson said: “This application has no realistic prospect of success, so we do not grant permission to bring judicial review proceedings.”

Mr Packham was given permission to appeal against the High Court ruling and his case is being heard by three leading judges in a remote hearing on Wednesday.

The well-known environmental campaigner is not repeating his application for an injunction.

Lawyers for Mr Packham argue that there were failings in the way the Government reached its decision to give the HS2 project the go-ahead.

The Government is opposing the challenge.

In written submissions to the Court of Appeal, David Wolfe QC, for Mr Packham, argued that ministers would have proceeded with making a decision on HS2 on the basis that the report from the Government-commissioned Oakervee Review would have explained what they needed to know about the environmental impacts of the project, when in fact, it did not.

The Oakervee Review was set up to examine whether and how HS2 should proceed.

Mr Wolfe said: “The report gave a very incomplete assessment of environmental matters. That mattered, because it meant the decision-maker Secretary of State then proceeded (when balancing its various pros and cons) on a complete misapprehension of the existence and/or scale of the environmental impacts of the scheme.”

He also said Mr Packham’s case is that “the defendants were told (and so would have proceeded from an understanding) that the Oakervee Report in fact set out a sufficient account for their purposes of the environmental impacts, when in fact it had not done so”.

Mr Wolfe added: “This misunderstanding affected the weight they would have given to the report’s conclusions in their decision-making.”

He added: “The simple point is that the Secretary of State proceeded on misunderstanding of (or an error of fact as to) the environmental impacts of HS2 when he came to decide whether it should proceed.”

In papers before the court, Mr Wolfe argued that when making the decision on HS2 the Government “failed to have regard to the implications” to the Paris Agreement on Climate Change – an environmental accord adopted by many nations, including the UK.

He later said: “The appellant’s complaint is not that the Secretary of State was not aware that HS2 would contribute significantly to climate change in the period up to 2050 (he was), but that he was not told of, and did not take into account, the legal implications of that for the UK’s international ‘Paris’ obligations (and indeed some of its domestic obligations).

“He failed to take into account the Paris Agreement when making this decision.”

Timothy Mould QC, barrister for the Government, argued that Mr Packham’s claim should be dismissed.

In written submissions to the Court of Appeal, he said the High Court judges were right to dismiss the claim and argued that it “has no realistic prospect of success”.

Mr Mould also said: “It is simply fanciful for the appellant to assume that the first respondent (the Secretary of State for Transport) knew nothing about the public legislative and procedural history of HS2, including the comprehensive assessment of environmental impacts undertaken in accordance with parliamentary procedures, beyond that which was drawn to his attention by the report itself.”

The appeal is being heard by Lord Justice Lindblom, Lord Justice Haddon-Cave and Lord Justice Green.

HS2 is a new high-speed rail network that, when completed, should connect London, Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds, along with other points in the country.

The judges reserved their ruling.
 
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Tetchytyke

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the Oakervee review is more about how to proceed rather than whether to proceed
That's not what the government were saying a few months ago when anti-HS2 people were criticising the Oakervee report as a whitewash!

I'd say the appeal is pretty much doomed to failure because the government clearly have considered the environmental impact. "We don't give a stuff" is considering the environmental impact. A shame, but credit to Chris Packham for trying to find a way of holding this shower to account.
 

edwin_m

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That's not what the government were saying a few months ago when anti-HS2 people were criticising the Oakervee report as a whitewash!

I'd say the appeal is pretty much doomed to failure because the government clearly have considered the environmental impact. "We don't give a stuff" is considering the environmental impact. A shame, but credit to Chris Packham for trying to find a way of holding this shower to account.
As outlined in the previous judgment, a vast amount of work has been done on environmental impact assessments, which was found to satisfy all the legal rules about what has to be done for a project of this type.
 

Inthewest

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I think this is where things like this fail.
I assume Chris Packham has just said "we shouldn't build HS2" and that's it?
If he saw that HS2 being built was always the end goal and finding a solution based around that end point, he'd most likely have a lot more respect.

But then people do this all the time - just say no instead of finding an actual solution.
 

hwl

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As outlined in the previous judgment, a vast amount of work has been done on environmental impact assessments, which was found to satisfy all the legal rules about what has to be done for a project of this type.
Just the minimum 3 judges which suggests the supreme court had fair idea of the strength of the case already and which way things would probably go heading.
 

JonathanH

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I think this is where things like this fail.
I assume Chris Packham has just said "we shouldn't build HS2" and that's it?
If he saw that HS2 being built was always the end goal and finding a solution based around that end point, he'd most likely have a lot more respect.

But then people do this all the time - just say no instead of finding an actual solution.
He did put some propaganda on twitter ahead of this case setting out eleven reasons for stopping HS2:
1. Climate emergency - HS2 not carbon neutral until well into the next century.
2. More of a plane than a train - enables large scale airport expansion
3. Ecological emergency - HS2 destroys 700 wildlife sites, 100 'ancient woodlands' and 33 SSIs
4. Endangered species - displaced or destroyed by HS2
5. Water - tunnel boring needs 6 to 10 million litres a day - London aquifer and intricate eco-systems at risk
6. Tearing open the countryside - HS2 paves the way for further infrastructure - trees planted have died
7. Taxpayers money being spent to destroy nature - most expensive infrastructure project and too many people being paid over £100k
8. HS2 already obsolete because of technological change - business users market all but disappeared due to Covid-19 - spending on broadband would be better
9.Wrong direction - more locality is the future and upgrading existing transport infrastructure
10. Severance of connection to the land - splitting communities and eviction
11. Destroying democracy - central government imposing development on local areas sets a dangerous precedent.

Looking at Twitter there does seem to be a constant flow of argument about HS2.

Verdict due in three weeks.
 

MarkyT

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He did put some propaganda on twitter ahead of this case setting out eleven reasons for stopping HS2:
1. Climate emergency - HS2 not carbon neutral until well into the next century.
2. More of a plane than a train - enables large scale airport expansion
3. Ecological emergency - HS2 destroys 700 wildlife sites, 100 'ancient woodlands' and 33 SSIs
4. Endangered species - displaced or destroyed by HS2
5. Water - tunnel boring needs 6 to 10 million litres a day - London aquifer and intricate eco-systems at risk
6. Tearing open the countryside - HS2 paves the way for further infrastructure - trees planted have died
7. Taxpayers money being spent to destroy nature - most expensive infrastructure project and too many people being paid over £100k
8. HS2 already obsolete because of technological change - business users market all but disappeared due to Covid-19 - spending on broadband would be better
9.Wrong direction - more locality is the future and upgrading existing transport infrastructure
10. Severance of connection to the land - splitting communities and eviction
11. Destroying democracy - central government imposing development on local areas sets a dangerous precedent.

Looking at Twitter there does seem to be a constant flow of argument about HS2.

Verdict due in three weeks.
Gareth Dennis has made a rebuttal video dealing with each point in turn:
#whyHS2 | Packham's Vanity Project
Sadly, Packham and his band of pseudo-environmentalists are still gunning for HS2, though their ammunition is no less impotent than before. They've created a new video which is filled with misinformation and misunderstanding. With the aid of my trusty buzzer and much exhalation of breath, I shall attempt to work my way through it...
 

Starmill

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I think many people are emboldened by the decision of the Court of Appeal recently in a quite different case about Heathrow 3. In that case the government didn't apply to the Supreme Court for leave to appeal. Judicial Review applications are all the rage nowadays too after the current government won on a manifesto threatening to neuter them.

I like Chris Packahm, but I've never noticed him complaining about the carbon cost of driving and air travel particularly strenuously, because he mainly seems concerned with ecological conversation rather than climate change. If there's a big part of his work I've missed I'm happy to be corrected.
 

Bald Rick

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I think many people are emboldened by the decision of the Court of Appeal recently in a quite different case about Heathrow 3. In that case the government didn't apply to the Supreme Court for leave to appeal. Judicial Review applications are all the rage nowadays too after the current government won on a manifesto threatening to neuter them.
I think you are right.

However, it will only take a couple of cases with award of costs to the defendant and it will put a lid on most of them.
 

joebassman

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I like Chris Packahm, but I've never noticed him complaining about the carbon cost of driving and air travel particularly strenuously, because he mainly seems concerned with ecological conversation rather than climate change. If there's a big part of his work I've missed I'm happy to be corrected.
Maybe that's because as it says in video above he's paid by Jaguar Land Rover for a blog on their advertising page


and then if you read this article you can see he goes travelling all over the world


I wonder what his carbon footprint must be?
 

Starmill

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I think you are right.

However, it will only take a couple of cases with award of costs to the defendant and it will put a lid on most of them.
Yes indeed! I will await the decisions in the cases regarding the Child Maintenance Service and RIS2 with great interest.
 

edwin_m

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I like Chris Packahm, but I've never noticed him complaining about the carbon cost of driving and air travel particularly strenuously, because he mainly seems concerned with ecological conversation rather than climate change. If there's a big part of his work I've missed I'm happy to be corrected.
And yet posts above suggest one of the arguments being put forward relates to the embodied carbon of HS2.
 

jopsuk

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Rather than re-hashing the content of several very long thread on this very forum- do we have any idea what the timescale for a judgement from this is?
 

ainsworth74

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We're getting off-topic here. There are plenty of other threads where we've discussed HS2 alternatives or adjustments. Let's stick to the legal action. As we're now waiting for a judgement the thread is now locked. Once the judgement is available please feel free to report this post and the Forum Staff will reopen it to allow for further discussion.
 

JonathanH

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Can someone explain whether the associated 'Hillingdon' judgement is a threat to HS2 or not? I appreciate it is localised but it seems to still be a hindrance.


Is there a chance of Packham and co latching onto this?
 

swt_passenger

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Can someone explain whether the associated 'Hillingdon' judgement is a threat to HS2 or not? I appreciate it is localised but it seems to still be a hindrance.


Is there a chance of Packham and co latching onto this?
It’s all about the detailed procedures for giving the local authority information to allow them to give approval for details. In the Packham judgement, they say this about Hillingdon:
“This claim is starkly in contrast with the Hillingdon case. In the Hillingdon proceedings, the challenge was to a specific decision within the approval process, though not to the principle of the project itself being permitted to proceed, and its success would not prevent the project progressing in accordance with the programme set for it.“
(My bolding)
 

ExRes

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Can someone explain whether the associated 'Hillingdon' judgement is a threat to HS2 or not? I appreciate it is localised but it seems to still be a hindrance.


Is there a chance of Packham and co latching onto this?
I understand that since you spilled the beans at 920am this morning Packham has been in numerous briefings led by the anti HS2 mole who has infiltrated RailUK forums ;)
 

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