Dec 10 2012 By Carl Gavaghan
The anti-HS2 campaigning group 51m have dispute the government's argument that the HS2 document was simply a statement of policy.
Representing the group - an alliance of councils opposed to the project - Nathalie Lieven QC said that it was a decision document due to the language it used and the commitment it made to HS2 as a whole.
Ms Lieven said: "Mr Tim Mould (Secretary of State) indicated that the decision document is not a 'decision' in quotation marks; it is a policy document.
"I maintain that is a wholly wrong reading of the document. It is clearly making a decision to proceed with HS2 as a whole, not just phase one on its own."
She added: "To say the decision document is a policy directive flies in the face of reality. It is a statement of legislative intent, in essence on proceed with two Hybrid Bills."
Ms Lieven also argued that despite what the Secretary of State claimed, the decision at the time not to release to 51m the passenger loading data on which it was relying, lead to an 'unfair' consultation and the rejection of 51m's optimised alternative.
She went onto say the actions in making the decision were not that of a "rational Secretary of State".
She said: "There was a decision to proceed with HS2 come what may."
Rupert Warren QC also got a chance to respond on behalf of Heathrow Hub Ltd, which had its consultation response lost.
Mr Warren said that the Mr Mould, on behalf of the defendant, had shown no proof that the information in the response was already know, as he had claimed in the morning session.
Mr Warren said: "There is no evidence to show who made the same points and when."
He went on to describe the lost consultations as an 'administrative shambles'.