Camden Council still has “serious concerns” over the redevelopment of Euston Station in London.
Camden Council councillor Danny Beales said the designs it had seen for the new HS2 station and over site development didn’t make the best of the opportunities available.
“We would like a highly integrated transport interchange for the area but also a new area which works for the local community,” he said speaking at a Westminster forum in London. “We have a burgeoning tech hub which we want to see included and also new, replacement and affordable housing.”
He said the council had already consulted with the local community on its Euston area plan and wanted to see a station which fulfilled the aspirations set out in it.
“We would like to see a station which connects east to west, north to south, not just south to Bloomsbury.” “The creation of a place that people can live, work and play in and has benefits for the existing residents who will have to put up with decades of disruption.”
Beales said the current design did not make maximum use of the land available.
Camden’s concerns are not new. In 2015 the council hit out against plans saying it lacked funding, timescale and design detail and questioned how Network Rail would integrate HS2 with its existing infrastructure.
The redevelopment of Euston Station in preparation for the arrival of the HS2 services is the most complex of the four stations in phase 1 of the HS2 project. The station will provide an interchange with the underground, Network Rail mainline services and a future provision for a connection to Crossrail 2.
The HS2 station is being built to the west of the existing Network Rail station with the platforms at a considerably lower level than the existing tracks. The two sides of the station – HS2 and Network Rail – are being redeveloped separately leading to fears east to west connectivity for the local community will be cut off.
Beales said he welcomed the appointment of master development partner (MDP) Lendlease, and said discussions could now begin in earnest.
The developer was appointed to the MDP role in February this year and will produce its masterplan for the 54ha area including the over site development. The MDP was set up to allow High Speed 2 to get early advice on how it could best integrate an oversite development into its station design.
A spokesperson for HS2 said the arrival of the high speed line was a “unique opportunity” to transform Euston station and the wider area.
A spokesperson for HS2 said: “The development is an opportunity to better connect the community through improved links and public spaces, as well as creating homes and thousands of jobs.
“HS2 and its design team is working closely with London Borough of Camden, the GLA, TfL, Network Rail, and Lendlease, on delivering a unified plan that will unlock the full potential of the area.”
Beales also said he thought there was an issue of trust within the community towards the development saying communities often felt “over consulted and under engaged”.
“If you genuinely engage with people early enough on in the project, presenting them with facts as they are people understand you can’t have everything,” he said. “But they just want to be engaged and give their sense of what they would be willing to live with.”