July 28 2014 Latest news:
Thursday, July 17, 2014
Efforts to save hundreds of Camden residents from seeing their homes demolished have been dealt a blow after the government revealed it would not be supporting a community-backed design for the redevelopment of Euston station.
Patrick McLoughlin, the secretary of state for transport, said his department’s openess to consider a new station design known as ‘Double Deck Down 2’ (DDD2) would end after receiving advice from Network Rail that claimed the proposals were “not viable”.
The decision makes a much larger redevelopment of Euston station - set to be the London terminal for High Speed 2 - more likely.
This could see hundreds of adjacent homes demolished.
In a letter sent to Cllr Sarah Hayward on Monday, Mr McLoughlin MP wrote: “Experts from HS2 Ltd and Network Rail have looked at this in detail and have provided strong and definitive adivce that the ‘double deck down’ solution is not viable.
“On the basis of this advice [...] the Department intends to do no further work on the ‘double deck down’ solution.”
An attached letter sent by Rupert Walker, head of high speed rail development at Network Rail, listed a number of concerns about DDD2, including fewer opportunities for “over site development”, the impact of construction on rail capacity and reduced concourse and passenger circulation.
It comes after the Ham&High reported back in May concerns among the group that their scheme wasn’t being given a fair hearing.
They claimed senior officials seemed intent on a design that could “wreck” the surrounding community and give priority to a design that benefitted property developers.
Peter Jones, of the Pan-Camden HS2 Alliance which developed DDD2, said the designs were “not looked at in enough detail” by Network Rail.
He said: “The report Mr McLoughlin is relying on is complete nonsense in engineering terms.
“It’s like answering an exam questiong by saying ‘my answer might be different if I could be bothered to study a bit more’.
“We will still appeal to the Secretary of State on our design and want an independent group to look at the prospect of building a station in the existing footprint.”