A FRESH judicial review challenging HS2 brought by an Amersham-based campaign group is being heard in the High Court today.

The HS2 Action Alliance is contesting the decision by Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin to issue safeguarding directions without an environmental assessment being carried out first.

The directions are aimed at preventing construction work which might interfere with the controversial multi billion pound project.

Members of the campaign group said if their challenge is successful a ban on developing land earmarked for use by HS2 Ltd would be lifted and could not be reinstated until the environmental assessment is completed.

Hilary Wharf, director of HS2 Action Alliance, said: "Since the start of this project there has been a sorry story of the government trying to avoid important environmental protection requirements which are enshrined in law. We believe that the same environmental and planning law standards should apply to HS2 as any other project, and we are prepared to go to the High Court to protect that principle."

The hearing, before Mr Justice Lindblom, is listed to last for a day and a judgment is likely to be handed down at a later date.

Hillingdon Council are supporting the HS2 Action Alliance at today's judicial review.