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HS2 promoter offers olive branch to council in Euston row

HS2 Euston

High Speed 2 promoter HS2 Ltd has promised to give Camden Council a major say in the controversial overhaul of Euston station.

HS2 Ltd director Roger Hargreaves wrote to the local authority’s chief executive, Mike Cooke, in a bid to placate local anger about the project.

Camden Council said in September that plans to redevelop Euston station lacked funding, timescale and design detail. It also questioned how Network Rail would integrate HS2 with its existing tracks, the Tube network and the proposed Crossrail 2 scheme.

Hargreaves said that if Camden dropped opposition to the redevelopment when it appears before the House of Commons HS2 select committee, HS2 Ltd would include the council on a panel of bodies that would oversee strategy and integration for the overall Euston project.

“As expeditiously as possible following the confirmation that the London Borough of Camden will not be pursuing opposition to the [HS2 phase one] Bill on issues of the design and implementation of HS2 Euston Station and comprehensive redevelopment, the promoter will set up the Euston Station Strategic Redevelopment Board, which will include, as members, the above organisations and Network Rail,” said the HS2 chief in his letter.

“The Promoter will commence engagement with the organisations named above with a view to agreeing full terms of reference for this group by the end of March 2016.”

He added that terms of reference would include overseeing “the strategic vision for the Euston station and tracks and the proposed Euston Schemes, taking into account the need for permeability in the design and a comprehensive and integrated development”

Other promises in the 39-page letter included using rail to deliver and remove materials from sites where practicable, creation of a construction skills centre at Euston as well as property and land assurances.

Camden Council leader Sarah Hayward said: “These hard-fought agreements mark a long-overdue recognition of HS2’s impact on Camden, but more importantly, protect our residents and businesses from some of the worst impacts of this scheme, which we’ve opposed from day one.

“Meaningful and independent assessments of the impacts of noise on our homes, a commitment to a plan to remove spoil by rail that will take hundreds of HGVs off our roads, getting our green open space back – these agreements will make real and lasting differences to the lives of Camden residents affected by HS2.

“Today marks a major step forward in our bid to get the best deal for Camden. Our focus now will be on working to ensure that HS2 deliver on these promises, highlighting the unfair compensation deal given to Camden at Select Committee and beyond, and convincing the government to commit to a comprehensive development of Euston Station that will reduce blight in the short-term and bring long-term benefits to Camden and London as a whole.”

HS2 spokesman Richard Pain said: “We are pleased that, following extensive negotiations, we have been able to reach agreement with London Borough of Camden on the overwhelming majority of their concerns. We now look forward to working together with them to deliver the new HS2 station at Euston.”


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