Hampstead MP Glenda Jackson plays down HS2 rail line concerns

Hampstead MP Glenda Jackson has sought to ease residents’ fears over the HS2 high-speed rail line running under homes in Belsize Park and Swiss Cottage.

The London to Birmingham part of the High Speed 2 railway network is set to open in 2026, prompting fears among homeowners that works could damage the foundations of houses in the leafy suburbs.

Ms Jackson, who said the line was “fit for the 22nd century”, pressed transport secretary Justine Greening for assurances over compensation for those blighted by building work.

She told the Ham&High; “My constituents are concerned over the work and the line going under property and I made that point to the secretary of state.”

Asked whether she sympathised with residents’ concerns at possible changes to the water table, she said: “Well they haven’t happened as far as the Tube line is concerned and it crosses the whole of north London.”

Replying to Ms Jackson’s question, Ms Greening said: “I will be writing to all the people affected directly by HS2, and that will include making sure that people in areas that will have tunnels underneath them will receive all the details they need to understand how this process will work.”

HS2 received the go-ahead last week despite strong opposition. Current plans will see Eskdale, Silverdale, Ainsdale and Staylbridge blocks in the Regent’s Park estate torn down to allow the redevelopment of Euston station. Up to 40 businesses also face the wrecking ball.

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Camden’s London Assembly member, Brian Coleman, said Euston would be unable to handle more travellers. He led a delegation to discuss HS2’s effect on Camden with Transport Minister Theresa Villiers last week.

Cllr Sarah Hayward, who also attended, said: “It was a very disappointing meeting. Her lack of knowledge about the issues in Camden was astounding, given that we are the borough with the largest loss of homes and businesses.”