High Court to rule on HS2 rail network which has been opposed in Wakefield - UPDATE

A high-speed train similar to the ones which could run on the HS2 network
A high-speed train similar to the ones which could run on the HS2 network

The government claimed victory over campaigners this morning as the High Court ruled mostly in its favour over controversial plans for the HS2 rail network.

The judge dismissed nine out of the 10 legal challenges against the plans, which included claims that the government had not adequately considered alternatives to the scheme.

But Lord Justice Ouseley did rule that consultation into the amount of compensation offered to people directly affected by the £33bn network had been “unlawful”.

It could result in a better compensation deal for people living right next to the proposed route, where houses have already fallen in value.

HS2 would be able to get passengers from Leeds to London in 80 minutes, at speeds of up to 250mph.

But the route, announced in January, attracted fierce opposition in Wakefield, particularly in the Altofts area where it would pass right next to people’s homes.

Local campaign group Stop HS2 Through Altofts has already hosted two meetings, claiming the rail link would damage countryside without providing significant financial benefit to their community.

And MPs Yvette Cooper and Jon Trickett have urged the government to rethink the route, which would also come within metres of historic landmarks including Walton Hall and the Newland Hall estate.