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‘Our communities are suffering’: HS2 must develop standalone plan for Euston, says Camden Council

PUBLISHED: 12:22 13 February 2020 | UPDATED: 12:22 13 February 2020

Cllr Danny Beales said on HS2

Cllr Danny Beales said on HS2 "any further uncertainty and blight is unacceptable". Picture: Camden Council

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Camden Council has called for HS2 to adopt a standalone plan for Euston after the high-speed rail project was given the go-ahead.

The rail line's route into Euston station. Picture: HS2The rail line's route into Euston station. Picture: HS2

The local authority has long-opposed HS2 which it says has caused years of "upheaval, disruption and blight".

On Monday, the prime minster Boris Johnson approved HS2 but acknowledged that "cost forecasts have exploded" and criticised the company responsible for developing the rail line, HS2 Ltd.

Cllr Danny Beales, Camden's cabinet member for investing in communities, said: "While the government has given the green light to HS2, the findings of the Oakervee Review have revealed significant problems with how change at Euston has been managed - and our communities have felt the worst of these impacts.

"We welcome the government's recognition of the challenges that development has presented at Euston.

HS2 says it will deliver extra capacity and better journeys for the millions of people who use the station. Picture: PA/Gareth FullerHS2 says it will deliver extra capacity and better journeys for the millions of people who use the station. Picture: PA/Gareth Fuller

"We need a single plan for Euston, integrating the existing railway station with the planned HS2 station.

"We are clear that a joined-up approach to station design and delivery is essential, and we expect to be a full and equal partner of this approach."

The town hall said HS2 does bring potential benefits for economic growth in Euston, but it also outlined Camden's longstanding opposition.

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"The area around Euston has already been changed forever," Cllr Beales said.

"HS2 has displaced residents from their homes and long-established businesses have shut.

"We've lost our treasured green spaces and Euston has become a building site, cutting off our communities from one another."

The council said it supported the Oakervee Review's recommendation to temporarily locate the line's terminus at Old Oak Common, which it says will afford more time to ensure Euston station is prepared.

Cllr Beales added: "We urge the government to make clear a single plan for Euston, and promptly, because we don't want to prolong the construction period.

"Our communities are suffering and any further uncertainty and blight is unacceptable."

HS2 has seen Camden campaigners from Primrose Hill, Belsize and Regent's Park protest over social, environmental and safety concerns.

In May, Euston homeowner Hero Granger-Taylor will bring legal proceedings against the rail project after the High Court granted a judicial review into its tunnel design.

HS2 says it will serve over 25 stations connecting around 30 million people, helping cut travel time while supporting 30,000 jobs.

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