Shadow of High Speed 2 rail link ‘already blights’ Camden homes

A blight has already fallen on businesses and homeowners in Camden even though the proposed high-speed rail link is not set to pass through the borough until 2026, it has been claimed.

Disused commercial properties will stay empty and leaseholders will be unable to afford a return to the area should their homes be demolished in work set to begin in 2017, warns Camden Cllr Sarah Hayward, cabinet member for communities.


A cross-party delegation met Transport Secretary Justine Greening today (Wednesday) to secure compensation for those affected.

Speaking at a meeting in Christ Church Primary School, Holborn and St Pancras MP Frank Dobson likened works under Euston to an “earthquake” and said it is going to be “like hell on earth” for shopkeepers in Drummond Street, Euston.

Cllr Hayward, who raised the possibility of legal action, said: “People who are leaseholders, who have a right-to-buy, will not be able to afford to live here with the money they get under the compulsory purchase order scheme.

“Empty retail units or commercial properties are struggling to be filled because they know that High Speed 2 is coming.

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“The blight has already started.”

Leaseholder Eria Gibson, who lives in the affected area, said: “From my perspective my flat is already blighted because I cannot fill it or rent it.”

The �33billion HS2 rail line will link London to Birmingham. A line will be built around Primrose Hill and four blocks of the Regent’s Park estate will make way before terminating at a rebuilt vamped Euston.

More than 200 properties have been earmarked for demolition.

Iris Ellis, 86, said: “It’s not right and I don’t want to go to a big community house.

“I want to stay as I am. I’ve been there since 1954.”

Francesco Sesia, 57, who was born on the estate, said: “I’ve lived here all my life and I will not be moved.”

Mr Dobson, added: “The point I’m trying to make in the House of Commons is it’s not the case of not in my back yard, it’s not through my front room.”