High Speed 2

The following Planning practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • High Speed 2
  • What is High Speed 2?
  • Route
  • Central government and HS2
  • Proposed benefits of HS2
  • Opposition to HS2
  • Bills and legislation
  • Deemed planning permission
  • Power to construct and maintain HS2 Phase 1
  • Compulsory acquisition of land, airspace, and subsoil
  • More...

High Speed 2

What is High Speed 2?

High Speed 2 (HS2) is a proposed new high-speed rail network, from London to Birmingham and to Manchester and Leeds. The government hopes it will improve the transport network and boost the economy, but there has been controversy about the exact route of the line and its effect on nearby landowners.


HS2 will be built in two broad phases:

  1. Phase 1 will link London with the West Midlands with a new station at Birmingham Curzon Street (Phase 1)

  2. Phase 2 will link the West Midlands with Manchester and Leeds. It is divided into two lines, one to Crewe (Phase 2a) and the other from Crewe to Manchester and from the West Midlands to Leeds (Phase 2b)

HS2 will be integrated with the existing national railway network and the trains will be compatible with existing railway lines, so that cities and towns beyond the new network will also benefit from direct HS2 services.

Central government and HS2

HS2 is being developed by the Department for Transport (DfT) and High Speed Two Limited (HS2 Ltd). HS2 Ltd performs both a delivery and advisory role in the development of the high speed rail network.

In July 2013, the government published a document outlining the broad framework within which HS2 Ltd must operate and, in particular:

  1. the rules and guidelines relevant to the exercise of the functions, duties and powers of

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