Ezer's abode is some distance from HS2 so I speak with the benefit of someone who really doesn't give a rats ass, . However, HS2 perhaps sums up all that is wrong with UK planning.
20 or so years ago small towns in Northern France and Belgium were climbing over each other backwards to be en route for the wonderful TGV network. Whereas in the UK everyone from the parish Council to those national societies and pressure groups who have been screaming for years to get us onto public transport are bemoaning the very principle. the route, the benefits and the noise.
According to that bastion of upstanding journalism 10 properties (10!!!) will experience high noise levels and 150 will need noise insulation. Hurrah to the transport planners I say for picking a fabulous route. We all love the canals running from Birmingham to London don't we? Couldn't build those today.. think of the water consumption - your FRA, SUDS and Code for Sustainable Canal code level 3 water calcs would be a bastard., not sure Excel would be able to cope...
Ezers ever pragmatic approach suggests £7.5m might buy all ten affected properties even with a little extra bunce for 'time and trouble' with another £1m buying enough ear plugs for other residents.
I don't want to make light of this, but give or take £10m (allowing for our lawyerly friends to cream a buck off the top) would probably save the same time and cost at the inevitable PI.
So folks the moral... forget localism - it cant work for (inter)nationally important schemes, get it to parliament and approve it post haste.
Next stop Glasgow.
PS what this country needs is a planner with guts, vision, balls and the vision to make the tough gutsy ballsy decisions.