Dec 10 2012 By Carl Gavaghan
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The Secretary of State has argued that the decision document into HS2 is not a planning or programme document.
Tim Mould QC is arguing that as it is a political document it did not require a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) to be carried out.
The HS2 Action Alliance argued that an SEA should have been undertaken.
Mr Mould said: "We argue, and if we are right about this it is the end of the matter, that the decision document into HS2 is not a plan or programme that would require a SEA.
"For one it does not set out an plans for future high speed rail projects."
He said the decision document was not seeking planning permission so therefore did not fall under SEA legislation.
He added: "The decision document is a political document outlining a political case to a political problem to parliament and the public at large.
"It cannot be argued that the decision document itself has a significant impact on the environment."
David Elvin QC, for the HS2AA, rebutted that the document was being used to identifying safeguarding zones and the Government's own consultation document referred to its "plans to build a railway", meaning the document was having an effect on the environment by stopping developments in the safeguarding zones.