The leader of Hillingdon Council, Ray Puddifoot, pictured below , has assessed this morning's (Wednesday) judgement by the Supreme Court, in which it rejected all three appeals that argued that a full environmental impact assessment should have been carried out before the decision was made to go ahead with HS2.

HillingdonCouncil has been instrumental in the 51M Group of local authorities challenging the project - although it was not involved in this case - and the council will now mount a fresh judicial review and is considering a challenge through the European Commission.

"It is important to bear in mind that the Supreme Court was not concerned with the actual merits of the HS2 project but rather the manner in which the Government was seeking to implement it," he said in a statement released as the judgement was handed down.

"It is clear from the judgement that the judges accept that they had extremely difficult issues to grapple with. We are now actively exploring with our legal team the possibility of making a complaint to the European Commission.

"Hillingdon Council has no regrets in being part of the legal challenge. We do not believe that this decision today endorses a fair and open process for decision making. It merely reflects the Court's lack of desire to interfere with Parliament's business on the understanding that a democratically elected body will respect the wishes and needs of the people.

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"The council is not going to give up the fight. Hillingdon has already brought a further judicial review challenge, jointly with HS2 Action Alliance, on the basis that the Government failed to carry out a Strategic Environmental Assessment before issuing Safeguarding Directions.  This challenge was put on hold until the Supreme Court had issued its judgment.

"We believe that the Government has not followed the correct procedures and is still looking to take a number of short cuts in relation to the project, to the detriment of its residents. The Government will need to be very careful in how it takes the Hybrid Bill through the Parliamentary process.

"It has already been forced to extend the consultation period for the Environmental Statement through its failure to comply with Parliamentary Standing Orders. If the Government does not get it right in the future, it will be leaving the door open for further legal challenges to be brought against it.

Councillor Ray Puddifoot, Leader of Hillingdon Council, said: ''Although we understand the reasons why the Supreme Court has dismissed the appeals, we will continue in our fight against HS2 and will do everything possible to protect our residents against this flawed project. 

“Hillingdon will be pursuing its further judicial review challenge and it will be closely monitoring the Government as it seeks to take the Hybrid Bill through the Parliamentary process.

“Hillingdon will continue to work with residents groups, the HS2 Action Alliance and within the 51m group of local authorities who reflect the overwhelming view of the people of this country that HS2 is a political vanity project of immense proportion.”