UK: A Summary Of The Documents Comprising The HS2 Environmental Statement

Last Updated: 2 December 2013
Article by Nicola Jordan

Our last blog focussed on the provisions contained within the Bill itself, but the Bill was deposited amongst a myriad of other documents which we have so far only touched on.

By far the largest - and the document actually being referred to when people say the Bill is "50,000 pages long" is the Environmental Statement (ES). This sets out the impacts which Government thinks HS2 is likely to have on the environment, together with proposals for mitigating those impacts. This blog provides a brief and hopefully helpful overview of the ES and accompanying documentation, with a brief summary where appropriate.

1. Guide to the Environmental Statement: Understanding the HS2 Phase One environmental statement - This document does not form part of the ES itself but provides a 3 page guide to the makeup of the ES. Page 2 of the document provides a helpful visual guide to the structure of the ES, and includes the community forum area reports (see below) as well as the environmental topics.

2. Non technical summary - a 165 page "user- friendly" summary of the likely signifiant environmental effects of HS2 Phase 1, both beneficial and adverse, and the means to avoid or reduce adverse effects. European law requires ESs to be accompanied by non-technical summaries, and for most lay readers this is likely to be the best way to get an overview of the project and its impacts.

3. Glossary and abbreviations - does what it says on the tin.

4. Volume 1: Introduction to the Environmental Statement. This volume comprises the following sections:

  • Introduction: introduces the project and its associated consent process, including the hybrid Bill and Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA);
  • Background to HS2: explains the Government's case for HS2 and how the project has evolved;
  • Approach to consultation and engagement: describes the approach to consultation and engagement for the ES and the process going forward;
  • The proposed scheme: provides a summary of HS2's objectives, describes the route, the service pattern and other operational characteristics;
  • Permanent features of HS2: describes the main features of the project;
  • Construction of the scheme: describes the generic construction methods likely to be used;
  • Environmental Impact Assessment: explains how the EIA has been carried out and the scope of the assessment;
  • Scope and methodology: provides an outline of the appraisal adopted for each environmental topic;
  • Mitigation: describes the proposed mitigation approach for each environmental topic;
  • Strategic and route-wide alternatives: provides a summary of the various alternatives that have been considered at a strategic and route-wide level; and
  • Local alternatives: explains what local alternatives have been considered prior to January 2012. Local alternatives considered after 2012 are reported in the Volume 2: community forum area reports.


5. Volume 2: Community Forum Area Reports and Map Books - there are 26 Community Forum Area (CFA) reports and associated map books which present the likely significant environmental effects of the proposed scheme within a series of CFAs along the entire Phase One route:

The Community Forums were established by HS2 Ltd as a way of "engaging" with the local communities along the route. Opinion is divided on how effective they've been for that purpose, but having established the Forums, HS2 Ltd thought it would be helpful to readers of the ES if it was broken down into the same CF Areas. The idea is that people will only need to read the CFA Report for the area in which they are interested, rather than the whole ES. Each CFA report presents the likely significant effects of the construction and operation of the proposed scheme on the environment in that area, as well as the mitigation measures that are proposed. Each report is accompanied by a map book, which contains a series of maps relating to the relevant CFA.

6. Volume 3: Route-wide Effects - Some of the impacts of HS2 will extend over more than one CFA, so this volume presents the route-wide effects for each topic in the same order as reported in the CFA reports. There are also three additional sections which describe the effects on the special landscape qualities of the Chilterns AONB as a whole; climate; and waste and material resources. There are a number of topics where no route wide effects are expected and these are simply introduced and reasons for the conclusions that no effects are anticipated are given.

7. Volume 4: Off-route effects - This report presents those aspects of the construction and operation of HS2 that have the potential to generate significant environmental effects in locations remote to the route corridor (i.e. effects which are not covered within the special scope of the CFA reports). These effects are mostly, but not exclusively, in relation to other transport infrastructure, for instance the effects of high-speed trains running on the classic network.

8. Volume 5 - Supporting Information and Planning - This volume contains a set of documents providing information about third parties' planning consents, and other supporting information that applies to several of the other reports within the ES. It is split further into the following documents:

  • Draft Environmental Statement Consultation Summary Report - Consultation on an early draft of the ES and draft Code of Construction Practice took place for a 56 day (8 week) period from 16 May 2013 until 11 July 2013. This report summarises the consultation findings, and how they feed into the ES itself.

  • Alternatives Report - Part 1 of this report provides a factual and chronological description of the consideration of the alternatives to HS2 which Government considered. It should be noted that the ES is only required to report the alternatives that the promoter considered - not all the other alternatives that might exist. Part 1 covers strategic options, modal alternatives, wider network options, alternative speeds and upgrades to the existing main lines. Part 2 covers the scheme component options: alternative stations, different route options between London and the West Midlands, access to Heathrow Airport, HS1 and depots.

  • Cross Topic Appendix 1: Committed Developments - This document comprises a further series of maps which show developments along the route which have planning permission as at 31 August 2013 and land allocated for development published in adopted development plans as of 31 August 2013. This should be considered in conjunction with the planning data document (see below).

  • Draft Code of Construction Practice - The draft 'Code of construction practice', contains a series of measures and standards of work to be applied by HS2 Ltd and its contractors throughout the construction period of Phase One of HS2. The draft 'Code of construction practice' will evolve and will be amended as necessary following further engagement during the parliamentary process. This will be a key document for those affected by the scheme to keep an eye on, as it will set out the practical steps to be taken by contractors to reduce the impacts of the works.

  • Off-route Effects Supporting Information - This document contains a summary of the environmental information used in the assessment of the off-route effects arising as a result of changes to the existing West Coast Main Line infrastructure between Lichfield and Colwich. This report also contains details of committed consents and development allocations in the area.

  • Planning Data - This appendix presents planning data that has been used to develop two sets of tables covering 'committed development' and 'proposed development'. Committed development consists of planning consents approved as of 31 August 2013 and land allocated for development purposes in adopted development plans as of 31 August 2013 for the purposes of establishing a basis for the future baseline used in the assessment of effects. Proposed development consists of planning applications registered with local planning authorities but not yet determined as of 31 August 2013 and land allocated for development purposes in published development plans that were not yet adopted as of 31 August 2013.

  • Scope and Methodology Report (SMR) - This report (actually made up of 3 separate documents: the report, the summary consultation report and an addendum) outlines the approach taken by HS2 Ltd in carrying out the EIA and compiling the ES. The consultation report summarises the outcome of the consultation on an earlier version of the draft SMR. The Addendum outlines where the methodology presented within the SMR was not followed, for example as a result of changes in legislation or industry best practise.

  • HS2 Phase Two Consultation: Sustainability Statement - This suite of documents (including a non technical summary) consults on how the proposed new high speed railway from the West Midlands to Manchester and Leeds would support objectives for sustainable development. It's not immediately related to the Phase One ES, and may well be overlook by those with more of an interest in Phase Two.

  • Wider Effects Report - This report contains an assessment of additional or new significant environmental effects which could result from a change in alignment of the route within the statutory limits of deviation.

9. Volume 5: Environmental Topic Reports and Map book - These are essentially technical appendices to be read in conjunction with each of the 26 area reports. They cover agriculture, air quality, climate, community, cultural heritage, ecology, electromagnetic interference, land quality, landscape and visual assessment, socio-economics, sound, noise and vibration, traffic and transport, waste and water resourses. Most then split into a route-wide methodology, assumptions and assessment report and then 26 further reports for each CFA, although some, including climate and electromagnetic interference take different formats.

Two further assessments have also been submitted which do not form part of the ES - an Equality Impact Assessment and a Health Assessment.

Our next blog will look at yet another suite of documents deposited with the Bill, known as the Environmental Minimum Requirements.

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 Mondaq.com.

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

Authors
 
In association with
Related Topics
 
Related Articles
 
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
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
Password
Confirm Password
Position
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Accounting
 Anti-trust
 Commercial
 Compliance
 Consumer
 Criminal
 Employment
 Energy
 Environment
 Family
 Finance
 Government
 Healthcare
 Immigration
 Insolvency
 Insurance
 International
 IP
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Litigation
 Media & IT
 Privacy
 Real Estate
 Strategy
 Tax
 Technology
 Transport
 Wealth Mgt
Regions
Africa
Asia
Asia Pacific
Australasia
Canada
Caribbean
Europe
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
U.K.
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

Mondaq.com (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 www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com 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.

Disclaimer

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.

General

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