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HS2’s impact on Camden: Ward by ward how high speed rail link will affect you

A high speed train A high speed train

Monday, March 17, 2014
11:43 AM

The High Speed 2 (HS2) rail link will see the borough transformed into a densely populated building site, with thousands of construction workers, hundreds of HGVs and a fleet of cranes making it their new home for the next 10 years.

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The HS2 Environmental Statement, included in a draft bill currently making its way through parliament, gave an overview of the likely impact of construction of the high-speed rail link on Camden.

This morning HS2 chairman Sir David Higgins made public his report recommending changes to the rail link, but it will be for parliament to decide whether these are adopted.

Here we describe how Camden will be affected, ward by ward, under the current plans in the 50,000-page draft HS2 Bill.

BELSIZE

A one-storey ventilation shaft for HS2 tunnels will be constructed in Adelaide Road between 2017 and 2024.

Full road closures include Adelaide Road (lasting four to six months), and Chalk Farm Road, with part-closures thereafter.

Bus routes will be diverted and temporary loss of parking will occur in Adelaide Road, Chalk Farm Road and England’s Lane.

Neighbouring Adelaide Road Local Nature Reserve (LNR) will suffer major impact via noise and the visual impact of cranes for over a year.

The Adelaide Nature Reserve Association is concerned that construction “will damage its rich biodiversity”.

The area will see about 100 HGV movements per day during peak months, resulting in increased noise and air pollution. HS2 officers expect this may have a “major adverse impact on the amenity of residents”.

About 400 homes along Haverstock Hill will suffer, with Haverstock School also having to endure “significant noise”.

Homes in Beaumont Walk, King Henry’s Road and Adelaide Road could also have to endure significant noise for up to 15 months at time.

CAMDEN TOWN WITH PRIMROSE HILL

Camden Town and Primrose Hill will see extensive periods of construction - and demolition - on its streets.

Work will be done on many bridges, some being entirely demolished and rebuilt.

This includes Camden Street Bridge (to be widened); Chalk Farm Road Bridge (to be rebuilt); Kentish Town Road Bridge (to be widened); Kentish Town Viaduct (to be widened); St Pancras Way Bridge (to be rebuilt); and Randolph Street Bridge (to be rebuilt).

As a result of construction and congestion, the effect on Camden’s markets has been a significant concern for stall owners, shoppers and residents.

The erection of scaffolding and the work on Chalk Farm Road Bridge will undoubtedly impact activity at the market with some areas even suffering temporary closures.

Traders, shoppers and residents will suffer extended periods of noise and traffic and there will be significant visual impact on the area.

A report commissioned by business group Camden Town Unlimited claims losses in revenue to markets could reach more than £91million.

Many fear the decade of noise, congestion and disruption to travel will put visitors off altogether and lead to an exodus of traders.

This is strongly contested by HS2 Ltd, who say “only a small proportion of the stalls in the market will be affected and for short periods”.

Businesses in other areas will see their entire premises demolished, including a carpenters, a yoga studio, and coffee shops.

All those under Arches 1 to 7 of Kentish Town Road Bridge will be closed for more than three years.

HS2 Ltd estimate 130 jobs will be “displaced” - a figure thought to be very conservative by campaigners and the council.

Residents will suffer from a number of road closures, increased HGV traffic and major road works.

Utilities works will mainly impact Gloucester Avenue, Princess Road, and Albany Street.

A £300million development at Hawley Wharf may also be stalled, putting a new school for the area at risk.

There will be disruptions to the North London Line.

EUSTON

Euston Station is set to be the proposed terminus for HS2.

Proposals will see the area transformed into a major construction site as parts of the existing station are knocked down and its entire footprint expanded 75metres to the west.

Two main construction compounds will be built - one at the National Temperance Hospital site in Hampstead Road, the other in Camley Street.

At its peak, 2,100 construction personnel will flood into the area each day with up to 600 HGV movements.

A number of bridges will also be demolished and rebuilt, including Hampstead Road Bridge; Granby Terrace Bridge; Mornington Street Bridge.

A new bridge to be constructed will span the classic and high speed tracks and provide a pedestrian and cycle route between Eversholt Street and Hampstead Road.

Three residential blocks of the Regent’s Park Estate will be demolished, losing some 188 homes (there are still no concrete plans where to move residents).

Construction will also see the demolition of 18 homes in Cobourg Street, five in Euston Street and three in Melton Street.

Businesses will also see their premises demolished, including Grant Thornton House in Melton Street (a 10 storey office block); One Euston Square in Melton Street (a 16 storey office block); a laboratory in Stephenson Way (a six storey building); three hotels; and many shops.

Camden Council has expressed particular concern at the loss of high-value corporate businesses.

Drummond Street - well known for its vibrant Bangladeshi restaurants - will see one end permanently closed, posing a serious risk to trade.

Some of the area’s open spaces will also be affected.

St James’s Gardens - which contains a post-medieval burial ground and chapel - will be permanently lost and Euston Square Gardens will be needed during construction.

Also in Regent’s Park Estate, construction will permanently require land occupied by the Old Tenant’s Hall, Hampstead Road open space and Eskdale Play area.

Trains on both the Victoria line and Northern line will not stop at Euston for months on end during peak construction periods.

HAMPSTEAD TOWN

Hampstead’s Rosslyn Hill, Haverstock Hill and Hampstead High Street could all see a major increase in HGV traffic, something HS2 Ltd say could “adversely affect the amenity of residents”.

Even the fragile Heath Street, which has already been forced to close in recent years due to damage, may be used as an HGV transport route.

Pollution is likely to increase and negatively impact the air quality for residents around this area.

The Heath and Hampstead Society have said the proposals could lead to “crumbling streets”, “rising pollution” and “dreadful” levels of traffic and noise.

The group has already fought hard to reduce the number of large vehicles – like coaches – travelling through Hampstead and the arrival of HS2 could undo much of this work.

The Hampstead Shops Campaign has also warned that potential disruptions to public transport and increased traffic during the 10 year construction period may significantly affect the livelihoods of traders in Hampstead - already said to be facing “a Waterloo moment”.

Although HS2 Ltd hopes to ensure most HGV movements happen outside peak times of traffic, this cannot be guaranteed and the impact on commutes/school runs could be significant.

SWISS COTTAGE

A two-storey ventilation shaft will be constructed in Alexandra Place – a project that will take five years.

Buildings containing 12 commercial units in Loudoun Road and six commercial units and two residential units in Langtry Walk will be demolished.

Some 50 jobs will be lost. This includes at a laundrette, a hairdressers and a dry-cleaners.

Affected businesses will likely have to relocate outside the borough.

Other businesses in the area – including one of its largest employers - have already suggested they may leave the area to avoid having to endure noise, traffic and lost parking spaces.

Residents in Loudoun Road may experience significant noise during construction - both night and day - for up to a year.

Residents and businesses along Finchley Road may also be affected by increased pollution due to increased HGV traffic.

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