37.In this chapter, we outline our approach to the petition hearings.
38.We understand that when planning and building a railway, communities will be affected. There will be a change of use of land, either temporarily or permanently and this will impact on the local landscape.
39.We do not intend to comment on all of the petitions that we heard throughout the process. Many were detailed and specific to particular properties. Assurances and undertakings were given by HS2 with which we are content and these are recorded on the HS2 register of undertakings and assurances. Some of our decisions were set out in our reports of last year. In some cases, we were able, in committee, to ensure that petitioners understood the compensation scheme under which they could secure some recompense. In other cases we concluded that the mitigation was appropriate having considered all the issues and options. We also gave specific directions to HS2.
40.Some petitioners made cases that would have incurred great additional cost to the public purse, and some cases were brought before us that might have provided a local benefit but would have had a detrimental effect on the wider community. Some petitioners did not convince us that a change should be made and it is the role of the petitioner to convince the Committee that the petitioner’s solution is the better one. This is certainly not a criticism of the petitioners but merely an acknowledgement of the complexity of the process, and the unusual proceedings in which the petitioner argues their case against a team of barristers representing the Secretary of State.
41.We would like to thank all petitioners who came before the Committee.
42.Throughout the process, undertakings and assurances have been given to petitioners. For those affected by the route, we recommend reading the register in order to understand whether any generic undertakings and assurances may apply to their own circumstances.
27 First Special Report, HC 1085, 24 May 2018, and Second Special Report, 23 July 2018, HC 1452
Published: 7 June 2019