Council leader tells parliamentary committee: ‘HS2 will cause devastation in Camden’

Cllrs Sarah Hayward and Valerie Leech at the Royal Courts of Justice to hear an HS2 judicial review in December. Picture...

Cllrs Sarah Hayward and Valerie Leech at the Royal Courts of Justice to hear an HS2 judicial review in December. Picture: Polly Hancock - Credit: Archant

Residents and businesses in Camden affected by the construction of the High Speed 2 (HS2) rail line are not being adequately compensated, the leader of Camden Council has told a parliamentary committee.

Cllr Sarah Hayward spoke passionately about the potential blight Camden faces as a result of the railway’s construction while giving evidence to a parliamentary committee preparing the High Speed Rail Bill this morning.

Some 477 Camden homes will be affected by the £43billion railway project, to link the capital with Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds, with severe disruption likely for Camden Town.

The world famous Camden Lock and Camden Road bridges will be demolished and then rebuilt as part of the plans.

Cllr Hayward said: “The compensation offered has been wholly inadequate across the whole borough.

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“At the moment, HS2 will provide £1.3billion for compensation for phase one, but we have estimated that around £1.6billion is needed to re-house people, provide open space and compensate businesses in Camden.”

Giving evidence to 16 MPs on the committee, including Holborn and St Pancras MP Frank Dobson, Cllr Hayward said the scheme will cause havoc in Camden Town and Primrose Hill while phase one of the railway project is being built.

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She added: “The railway will come out of a tunnel in Primrose Hill, one of the top 10 tourist attractions in Europe, not just the UK, which is driving the local economy.

“HS2 will require eight bridges over major roads meaning some bridges will be wholly rebuilt. There will be devastation for people travelling to and from Camden Town.”

After the projected cost of HS2 leapt by £10billion to £43billion last week, Mayor of London Boris Johnson revealed yesterday that he expected HS2 to cost nearly £70billion.

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