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A golf club's cry of injustice could well be the crucial nail in the coffin of the Government's £16 billion plans to forge a high speed rail link between London and Birmingham.
Aylesbury Golf Club says basic rules of fairness were violated when it was not even told that the proposed route had been 'tweaked' to take it through the middle of its course.
The club, along with a consortium of local authorities and other groups opposed to the HS2 rail link, are fighting a High Court battle to put the plans back to square one.
They argue a host of environmental and habitat protection laws were side-stepped in forcing through the scheme and that a consultation process leading up to adoption of the proposals by the Department of Transport in February was fundamentally flawed.
The first phase is planned to slash journey times with trains travelling up to 400km/h between London and Britain's second city by 2026, at a cost of £16 billion. A second phase would then extend the line to Manchester and Leeds and raise the total cost to £34 billion.
Campaigners say more than 172,000 homes within a kilometre of the line will be seriously affected by noise and other disturbance and that the existence of the plans itself will cause “planning blight” that will paralyse the property market along the route for the next 15 years.
David Fletcher, representing Aylesbury Golf Club, today weighed into the dispute, attacking the government's behaviour as a breach of natural justice.
He said the original route plan, formulated in 2009, would itself have been 'seriously inconvenient' for the club.
But, when the route was tweaked the following year - to take it up to 100 metres further away from Grade 1 listed mansion, Hartwell House - the result was 'catastrophic'.
Although the route change was viewed as a 'significant improvement' by some, that was not the case for the golf club, said the barrister, who added: "There was no meaningful consultation with the club and the system itself failed in that regard."
The club was completely unaware of the significance of the route change until consultations opened in 2011 and Mr Fletcher told the court: "The procedure followed was simply unfair and contrary to natural justice".
"The adverse effect of the realigned route is catastrophic. Because of the route the line now takes there will be fewer than nine playable holes which is not viable for a respectable golf club."
Mr Fletcher added: "The realignment made the difference between an adverse effect on the golf course and a destroyed golf course. The new line is disastrous as opposed to being seriously inconvenient".
The hearing of the High Court challenge, which is being hotly contested by the government, is due to end on Thursday.
However, it is a near certainty that Mr Justice Ouseley will reserve his decision on the challenge until a later date.