Germany’s Stuttgart 21 rail project should go ahead without a referendum, its chief mediator said on Tuesday.
Heiner Geissler was brought in to negotiate amid concerns over cost and its impact on the environment.
Geissler told reporters that it would be more expensive to cancel Stuttgart 21 now that construction permits had been issued.
He also called for a compromise on how much green space would have to be cleared.
The four-billion-euro plan would move Stuttgart’s main railway station underground to incorporate a new high-speed rail line.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats welcomed Geissler’s verdict, saying the project would bring “jobs and competitiveness.”
His ruling, however, is not binding.
The plan has sparked months of sometimes violent protests.