Bucks takes dispute over HS2 lorry routes to court


Buckinghamshire Council has issued High Court challenges against six decisions by the Planning Inspectorate in a dispute over lorry routes for HS2 construction.

Under Schedule 17 of the High Speed Rail (London – West Midlands) Act 2017, HS2 Ltd is required to obtain approval for lorry routes from the relevant planning authority, but in six cases the council refused to make decisions, stating that it needed further information.

HS2 Ltd appealed to Planning Inspectorate, which allowed all six appeals.

HS2 works at Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire

Steven Broadbent, Buckinghamshire’s cabinet member for transport, said: ‘Following counsel advice, we believe we have a strong reason to challenge the decisions of the inspector in allowing the lorry routes to be used, which will have an enormous and detrimental impact on our local roads.

‘The council had sought further information considered necessary to carry out our statutory duty to assess the impacts of the proposed routes.’

A spokesperson for HS2 Ltd said: ‘We are working hard to reduce disruption for local communities and road users during the construction of HS2. This includes creating our own temporary internal access roads to get heavy vehicles onto site, and using freight trains to deliver materials, but we also need to use certain main roads.

‘That is why we are also delivering a programme of junction improvements across the county and have made a £3.9m road safety fund available to the council.’

HS2 Ltd successfully appealed against the non-determination of applications relating to Brackley Road and the Wendover Green Tunnel.

A separate inspector dealt with appeals relating to:

  • Small Dean Lane, Wendover to the strategic road network (SRN)
  • Small Dean Viaduct, Wendover to the SRN
  • Chiltern Tunnel North Portal to the SRN
  • three worksites at Little Missenden, Chesham and the North Portal to the SRN

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