View from the street: Inadequate HS2 mitigation could see ‘unacceptable proposals foisted on people’


- Credit: Archant

Camden Civic Society is a campaigning charity covering the whole of the borough of Camden.

Our main purpose is to encourage people to become involved in shaping the future of their surroundings.

We have been most active in the area of planning and the built environment.

But we also campaign on transport issues including HS2, and against noise, air and light pollution.

Come to our annual general meeting at 7pm on November 7 at Netley School, 74 Stanhope Street, NW1 1NA, to discuss the London Plan, which involves significant densification targets that could well lead to even more high-rise housing built on green spaces in Camden.

We will also be looking at the impact of air quality on health.

Not only is the development of our children undermined, but pollution is implicated in the increase of dementia.

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It will also be a chance to hear about the Euston Heritage Assessment, and Peter Darley’s book The King’s Cross Story.

There are many ongoing concerns around HS2, not least because a succession of changes since the Hybrid Bill was passed in February 2017 mean we have no definitive plan for bringing high speed trains into Euston, and, more worryingly, no risk assessments or new environmental impact assessment initially concerning AP3 (additional provision 3) – and now the so-called “Euston mitigation measures”, also referred to as “Euston approaches design development”.

The civic society has called on the government for a halt to all demolitions and tree felling until a feasible scheme is published.

There are severe risks inherent in the current suggestions, which must be resolved before progressing any further.

It is not just the risk of current plans for the Euston approaches that exercise the people affected by HS2 preparation works.

Despite promises made to parliamentary select committees, noise insulation has not been provided to the majority of the 1,300 households estimated to require this. Nor has a compensation scheme been developed for urban dwellers.

HS2 is plagued by delay. For example, it had thought to take possession of Silverdale and neighbouring blocks in February but the replacement homes were not ready.

Now that they are, the carriage sheds are demolished and HS2 wants Granby Terrace closed instead of using it as the haul road to get machinery in and spoil out.

It therefore proposed to use a quiet residential street – Harrington Street – for this purpose, without the necessary mitigation for residents.

It is a big danger in 17 years of construction that unacceptable proposals of this type will be foisted on local people.

Further problems for the community have been compulsory purchase orders that have seen people evicted from their homes and businesses without compensation being paid.

And the restaurants of Drummond Street have been cut off from customers from Euston Station.

It is no wonder that the Camden Fund money, meant to mitigate the impact of HS2 on the community, seems to be being refused to local projects that do not celebrate HS2 and reconcile people to it.

However, when local parks are taken and trees felled, we want replacements locally.