Chris Packham launches legal challenge against HS2

The Chiltern Society has been fighting hard against HS2 for over a decade. Last year when an independent review of the project was announced, we were quick to reiterate our longstanding concerns and arguments against the proposals; namely the inevitable environmental devastation, unprecedented threat to Chilterns wildlife and grave geological concerns.

Last month the Government announced, to our disappointment, that the project would be proceeding as planned despite the case that we had put forward along with many other like minded environmental charities, NGOs and campaigners including renowned broadcaster and naturalist Chris Packham who has now launched a legal challenge against the Government’s decision.

Chris Packham believes, as we do, that HS2 will damage or destroy almost 700 wildlife sites, including over 100 Ancient Woodlands. He also argues that the climate impact of HS2 is expected to be incompatible with any Net Zero emissions targets. Furthermore, there are fundamental concerns that the ‘independent Oakervee review’ was biased towards accepting HS2 evidence and that important information relating to environmental impacts was not considered properly.

The appointed law firm has sent a Pre-Action Protocol letter on behalf of Mr Packham, arguing that the Government’s decision was unlawful on the grounds that it relied on the flawed ‘Oakervee review’ process and did not take into account the full environmental costs of the project. Chris is on a mission to raise £80,000 to help towards legal costs, and we’d encourage our members and supporters to contribute what they can via his Crowd Justice page.

We continue to fight hard to protect the Chilterns and will do all we can to preserve this special landscape.