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

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

In association with
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
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). 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 & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd 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 or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.