Full speed ahead for HS2 - but ruling of an 'unlawful consultation' means it comes at an even higher cost

However, there was relief at the Department of Transport as several other legal challenges to the £33bn project enthusiastically promoted by David Cameron were thrown out

Residents along the route of the planned HS2 high-speed rail route are in line to receive bigger compensation payments after a court ruled that ministers broke the law in consultation over the scheme.

However, there was relief at the Department of Transport as several other legal challenges to the £33bn project enthusiastically promoted by David Cameron were thrown out.

The result is that the Government should be able to press ahead with plans to link London and Birmingham – with later spurs to the North of England – without further delay. But the taxpayer is likely to face a larger compensation bill following the Government’s blunder.

The High Court ruled today that the consultation process for compensating some householders affected by the project was “so unfair as to be unlawful”.

The Government will now have to rerun the compensation consultation, with the result that more people could qualify and those already entitled to money could receive larger-than-expected pay-outs.

The HS2 Action Alliance campaign group, which brought the challenge, said it believed the value of more than 300,000 properties along the route of the project’s two phases could be hit.

Richard Houghton, its spokesman, said: “Existing owners may have to sell at a discount because of the blight. But bonds could be issued to ensure the person buying would have a guarantee the Government would make up the difference if the price fell below a certain level.”

The dismissal of four of the five cases against the Government was described by the Rail Minister, Simon Burns, as a “landmark victory” for the future of Britain.

He said: “The judge has categorically given the green light for the Government to press ahead without delay in building a high-speed railway from London to Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds. The judgment ensures that nothing now stands in the way of taking our plans to Parliament.”

The then transport secretary Justine Greening gave HS2 the go-ahead in January 2012. But the mistake identified by the court took place under her predecessor, Philip Hammond.

The five cases has been brought by opponents, including 18 local councils, scores of residents' associations and action groups, plus farmers and a golf club. They included attacks on the manner in which the project had been steered through Parliament and alleged breaches of EU environmental and habitat directives.

Maria Eagle, the shadow transport secretary, said: “It is right this vital infrastructure project can now proceed once ministers have re-run the part of the consultation that they botched."

She added: “We have now had nearly three years of dither and delay over HS2 which must now come to an end.”

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Life and Style
Suited and booted in the Lanvin show at the Paris menswear collections
fashionParis Fashion Week
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Kara Tointon and Jeremy Piven star in Mr Selfridge
tvActress Kara Tointon on what to expect from Series 3
Voices
Winston Churchill, then prime minister, outside No 10 in June 1943
voicesA C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
News
An asteroid is set to pass so close to Earth it will be visible with binoculars
news
News
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Austen Lloyd: Private Client Solicitor - Oxford

Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: OXFORD - REGIONAL FIRM - An excellent opportu...

Austen Lloyd: Clinical Negligence Associate / Partner - Bristol

Super Package: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - SENIOR CLINICAL NEGLIGENCE - An outstan...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Consultant - Solar Energy - OTE £50,000

£15000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Fantastic opportunities are ava...

Recruitment Genius: Compute Engineer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Compute Engineer is required to join a globa...

Day In a Page

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project