A legal challenge by engineer Mark Whitby to stop a £85million rail link in central Manchester has been dismissed by the Court of Appeal.
According to the AJ’s sister title, Consturction News, the court upheld a ruling to throw out a legal challenge against the BDP-designed scheme which had been lodged by the former president of the Institution of Civil Engineers.
The Ordsall Chord, the largest part of a £200million programme of work being undertaken by a Bam Nuttall/Skanska joint venture, had been given the green light by transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin in March 2015.
However, the following July saw Whitby granted a judicial review into the project claiming it would ‘substantially harm’ the city’s industrial heritage and destroy an area of ’international importance’.
This was dismissed by the High Court in October, paving the way for Bam Nuttall and Skanska to start work on the viaduct. Whitby then won the right to appeal the decision in January.
The former ICE president appealed on three counts: one against the decision of Justice Lang in the planning court, another challenging the Transport and Works Act order issued last March, and further one against the judicial review decision in October.
All three were dismissed by the Court of Appeal yesterday (23 March).
The project involves the construction of a bridge linking Manchester’s Piccadilly, Oxford Road and Victoria stations and is a central part of Network Rail’s £600m Northern Hub rail improvement programme.
Bam Nuttall and Skanska will now continue work on the site, with construction expected to complete in December 2017.
Network Rail route managing director Martin Frobisher said: ’The Ordsall Chord is an essential part of the Northern Programme and, once built, will help remove congestion from Manchester Piccadilly.
’This will help create space for hundreds more trains to operate through the city each day. The new viaduct will provide many benefits to not only the population of Greater Manchester but the whole of the North of England.’
Ordsall Chord - plan