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Resident denied appeal against HS2 over safety of tunnel design, but vows to pursue further information via FOI

A resident of Camden has been refused permission to appeal a High Court ruling that rejected her judicial review challenge against HS2 over the safety of a tunnel design.

Ms Hero Granger-Taylor had argued that the ‘Three Tunnels’ design risked the collapse of the cutting retaining wall along Park Village East at the Euston Approaches, an event she said would have been “catastrophic”.

However in June Mr Justice Jay ruled in favour of HS2 and the Secretary of State for Transport in Granger-Taylor, R (on the application of) v High Speed Two (HS2) Ltd & Anor [2020] EWHC 1442.

Lady Justice Andrews dismissed Ms Granger-Taylor’s application for permission to appeal on 12 October, it has emerged.

Ms Granger-Taylor’s grounds for appeal lay with the argument that the defendants had failed in their duty of candour to disclose all relevant evidence to the Judge during proceedings, namely crucial calculations said to confirm that the ‘Three Tunnels’ design could be constructed safely.

Ms Granger-Taylor said she would be pursuing HS2 Ltd. for the missing information through the Freedom of Information process.

Jayesh Kunwardia, Partner at Hodge Jones & Allen, who represents Ms Granger-Taylor, said: “Although our substantive challenge has concluded with no right of any further appeal, we are very keen to keep under close review the developments regarding the ‘Three Tunnels’ design and to reassess the merits of reopening the matter when the Government’s decision on Oakervee is announced.

“In our view, it would be wholly irrational for the Government to ignore the findings made in the Oakervee report that describe HS2 Ltd.’s current proposals for the Euston Approaches as carrying “major risks” (9.17).”