Council calls for more compensation for Camden residents in fight against HS2

Cllrs Sarah Hayward and Valerie Leach outside the Royal Courts of Justice in December 2012 for a jud

Cllrs Sarah Hayward and Valerie Leach outside the Royal Courts of Justice in December 2012 for a judicial review of HS2. Picture: Polly Hancock - Credit: Archant

Camden Council has called for a review of the High Speed 2 (HS2) rail budget after a report found that an inadequate amount of money has been set aside to compensate Camden residents and business owners who will be forced to relocate.

The £400million compensation fund for Camden included in the budget for HS2, the railway project to link London Euston with Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds, is not enough, according to a report carried out by a team of consultants.

They predict more than £1billion will be needed to compensate the 480 Camden residents who will have to be re-homed during the building works, delayed travellers, business owners and a Euston school which will be forced to relocate.

The report also suggests that the current budget does not cover the loss of open spaces, including Camden Square Gardens.

The council want a “forensic audit” to be carried out in order to re-evaluate the compensation budget, which totals £1.3billion for the HS2 project.

Leader of Camden Council, Cllr Sarah Hayward, said: “This independent research throws more doubt on the ability of government and in particular HS2 Ltd to deliver such a large infrastructure scheme.

“Time and time again doubt is cast on the business case put forward, the budget and the overall need for HS2.

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“It’s time for a forensic audit and a full parliamentary investigation so that if the government push ahead with this scheme, the public have full confidence that taxpayers’ money is going to be spent wisely.”

Camden faces a decade of building works when the construction of the HS2 railway begins, including the demolition of the iconic Camden Lock and Camden Road bridges.

Last week the council announced it will fight HS2 in the Supreme Court and appeal a decision upheld by the Court of Appeal last month that the project is lawful.