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High Court to rule on HS2 legal challenge

A High Court judge will give his ruling on a legal challenge over plans to create tunnels into Euston station

A High Court judge is set to rule on a legal challenge over proposals to create a series of tunnels into Euston station as part of the controversial new HS2 scheme.

Local resident Hero Granger-Taylor has brought legal action against the Government and HS2 Ltd, arguing that the “three tunnels” plan in the approaches to the north London station could lead a 119-year-old wall close to her home to collapse onto the tunnels below or the existing railway line.

She says the plan is “inherently unsafe” and breaches her human rights.

At a remote hearing last month, Mr Justice Jay was told that the proposals could cause a “catastrophic collapse” that would endanger rail travellers and residents living nearby.

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Euston Station (PA)

Euston Station (PA)

PA

Euston Station (PA)

In written arguments before the court, Ms Granger-Taylor’s barrister, Christopher Jacobs, said that the “three tunnels scheme is inherently unsafe and could lead to the catastrophic collapse of an unstable retaining wall immediately under which tunnels are to be excavated”.

Mr Jacobs argued that the plans will cause “considerable settlement and damage to her home”.

He also said that “the conduct of the defendants in proceeding with the three tunnels scheme breaches her rights to family and private life and quiet enjoyment of property” under the European Convention on Human Rights and is therefore “unlawful”.

A report by Colin Elliff, a civil engineering expert – obtained on behalf of Ms Granger-Taylor, says that “in the worst case” a collapse “could place rail travellers and residents at risk”.

Documents prepared for the court by lawyers representing HS2 Ltd and the Government say that the court is being “asked to make a direct finding that, contrary to the assessments which have been undertaken to date and the processes which are yet to come, the three-tunnels design is not capable of safe implementation”.

They said that is not a “proper matter” for the court to decide, adding: “Nor is it a conclusion that is properly open to the court on the evidence before it.”

The judge is due to deliver his ruling at 10.30am on Friday.

PA