UK: The Environmental Statement For Phase One Of HS2 (2)

Last Updated: 27 November 2013
Article by Paul Thompson

In a previous blog entry we looked at what can be expected from the HS2 phase one Environmental Statement (ES) and how it will be examined by Parliament. This entry considers what form comments on the ES should take and whether they are worth making.

The precise form in which comments have to be made will depend on what is prescribed in the newspaper notices advertising the bill. However, it will be surprising, and possibly non-compliant with the underlying law referred to in our previous blog entry, if comments are not allowed to be made in writing, either by email or letter.

Are comments and representations worth making? The cynics amongst us may think not but it needs to be remembered that Parliament does have  a real opportunity to review the ES and that there is a good record of Parliament requiring and of Government accepting changes to hybrid bill promotions.  Also, with a project as large and complex as HS2 (and one whose design has already been changed substantially since the draft ES was consulted upon), it would be surprising if there were not some shortcomings in the ES or worthwhile embellishments of it that will need to be addressed.

The environmental impact assessment process which the ES reports on is also, by definition, a process that must involve real public engagement and be seen to have done so. The opportunity to comment and to have any comments made considered by Government is therefore a real one.

So,  if there are points which you would like to see pursued (or intend to pursue yourself through the petitioning process or by lobbying HS2, ministers or Parliament) in relation to the accuracy, adequacy and comprehensiveness of the ES, including any relating to the sufficiency, inclusion or exclusion of any mitigation or compensation, then the answer is to make representations on them and to get these in by the deadline (expected to be a date in January).

If the Government agrees with the comments, it may seek to address them. Even if it does not, these will then be available to be picked up by MPs, including at least to some degree by members of the Select Committee to whom petitions are referred, and whether or not they are particularly highlighted in the assessor's report.

If a petitioner does have issues to raise on the ES, being ones which the Select Committee accepts fall within its remit and which it will therefore be prepared to consider, it could well hold it against the petitioner if these have not also been raised with the Minister under this new process.  Equally, the Government's representatives before the Committee may take any omission to do so as a point of prejudice.

The role of the assessor, however, is not to pass judgement on the ES or the comments submitted on it but rather just to "summarise the issues raised by those comments". The assessor's report will not therefore take the form of a critique of the ES and it may be that it will not identify particular comments or the number or nature of the comments made which give rise to the issues summarised in the report. It should however at least highlight any distinct issue raised and, in making representations on the ES, one of the considerations to bear in mind is how best to catch the assessor's attention.

Following receipt of the assessor's report (and of any additional reports which will be needed if supplementary environmental information is deposited), we would expect that the Government will produce a report in response to this, probably shortly before third reading in the Commons.  It certainly did so for Crossrail, albeit without the benefit of an assessor's summary report: see command paper 7250, 2007 (9MB PDF download).

The main difficulty which all will face, particularly those not familiar with major infrastructure ESs and whether or not making formal representations on the ES, is simply getting to grips with the sheer size of it. War and Peace will look like a pamphlet by comparison: according to Wikipedia, the novel is around 1440 pages long in paperback, whereas the ES is likely to be in the region of 50,000 pages, with a mass more similar to a medium-sized tiger than a work of fiction (sadly for opponents of HS2, it is unlikely to weigh as much as a white elephant). Tempting as it may be just to pick through the non-technical summary, it is the main reports and the technical data underlying them that really matter. They are where the answer to the fundamental questions and the basis for any real challenges lie. We and others will certainly have our work cut out over Christmas in advising and preparing representations on the ES but, for anyone wanting to influence HS2 by securing some change to it, or additional mitigation or compensation, that challenge must be met.

BDB HS2 seminar on how the hybrid bill process will work for HS2 - 27 November 2013

We are holding a seminar on how the hybrid bill process will work for HS2 on 27 November. The details (including how to register) can be found  here.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

In association with
Related Topics
Related Articles
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions