The Euston Quarterly High Speed 2 meeting for the ECRG (Euston Community Representatives' Group) last Thursday evening was eerily quiet, as if tumbleweed was rolling across the room.

HS2 banned an Observer journalist from attending; whatever were they expecting?

Not even a snide pseudo-apology about the spiteful environmental vandalism of felling 14 trees in Euston Square Gardens West this month got a rise out of the handful of weary community representatives still staying the course, six years after the Hybrid Bill of February 2017 gave the Department of Transport/HS2 so much power to devastate and demolish the community around Euston. Around Euston there was no brown land, ripe for development, no railway yards beside the station like Kings Cross, just 17,000 people living their lives.

Ham & High: Jo Hurford and young friend by the stump of the tree she had been chained to five years ago. Photo: Murad QureshiJo Hurford and young friend by the stump of the tree she had been chained to five years ago. Photo: Murad Qureshi (Image: Murad Qureshi)

There will be a briefing in a month about exactly which works must be rounded off, which can cease immediately and which will continue. However the meeting was informed in general terms what this would mean in the Euston area, now that all construction work is postponed for two years:

HS2 told the meeting it will not start tunnelling, and it will stop piledriving in the cutting, and stop any further demolitions or fellings. HS2 could not in any case bring tunnels and track into Euston with a plan they admitted was "incomplete". This is even though they intended to construct the tunnels in the cutting by hand with concrete spraying, not their great tunnelling machine. HS2 will round off current digging for utilities in Euston Road and finish substation works for London Transport.

Ham & High: Dorothea Hackman reflects on what HS2 have left behind in EustonDorothea Hackman reflects on what HS2 have left behind in Euston (Image: Dorothea Hackman)

HS2 further informed the meeting that they will reopen all the closed roads, lay-bys and bus stops, give up their lorry parking enclosure at the zoo (the hedgehog colony may recover after all), but they will not go away. Security teams will remain to enforce their unjust injunctions and there is no money for different uses in the meantime. We have suggested a 'world class' funfair.

Euston is left with a hole as deep as several basements and bigger than Trafalgar Square where there used to be homes and businesses and parks.

If work does not resume, developers may come and build Canary Wharf/Bluewater style offices and retail.

They will carry on tunnelling north and around Old Oak Common, consuming water and polluting the air. It seems they will remove the spoil by road via Euston despite undertakings to the contrary to Parliament.

I imagine they will rename the old Oak Common station 'Euston West' to fulfil their prophesy of bringing HS2 into Euston.

It's not too soon to start thinking about heatwaves in summer and the threat to human life once temperatures go over 25C.

We lost important safe cool spaces when High Speed 2 took St James Gardens and Euston Square Gardens.

Where can the rough sleepers and homeless in our community go now to rest and cool down in the shade of a tree?

Meanwhile HS2 are seeking to extend their injunction which covers all of us - persons unknown - going onto the property they received under the 2017 Hybrid Act. It is to include criminal intent from the new public order bill, so it is not yet clear what this will mean.

Huge sympathy to Old Oak Common and communities further north. We have yet to find out what the two-year delay will mean for the communities around Euston station.

Dorothea Hackman is chair of the Camden Civic Society.