Meyric Lewis achieved a double success on the last day of sittings of the House of Lords Select Committee on 1 December.
In Meyric’s 10th appearance before Parliament, representing Charles Wilson Engineers Limited and Gallagher Holdings Limited, the petitions were successfully settled just as they were called on.
The petitioners were the leaseholders and freeholders of Charles Wilson’s very successful plant hire business in Washwood Heath, Birmingham, part of their national operation as a subsidiary company of Gallagher Holdings. A large part of the site was to be acquired to facilitate road widening works to provide access to the proposed Washwood Heath Rolling Stock and Maintenance Depot and neighbouring “residual development land”.
They argued that the proposed widening works were unnecessary since they were required merely to achieve construction of 3m wide footways on either side of the widened road when there was only a footpath on one side in the existing situation. Moreover, the road widening was not actually needed for the construction of the HS2 railway and so exclusion of the land from the provisions of the Bill would not affect its implementation – and provision of footways to serve a potential future development site was unjustifiable as a matter of principle.
They also argued that, in any event, the widening works could be realigned to take much less of their land and still provide footways on both sides so there was no justification for the amount of land take proposed by HS2.
HS2 finally accepted this and appropriate assurances were given – in terms proposed by the petitioners some time before!
Meyric learnt of his second success of the day when he returned to Chambers to find that Mr and Mrs Unwin of Park Village, whom he had represented on his last appearance in the Lords, had at last had their need to sell application accepted, see more at https://www.ftbchambers.co.uk/news/challenge-fairness-hs2-%E2%80%9Cneed-sell%E2%80%9D-scheme-house-lords
Meyric appeared for Charles Wilson and Gallagher Holdings instructed by Abigail Walters at Shakespeare Martineau.