HS2: Camden Council responds to latest designs for new Euston Station

Update (31/03/15): Following these plans, Leader of Camden Council, Cllr Sarah Hayward wrote a letter to the Secretary of State for Transport. On Wednesday 25 March we received a response from the Secretary of State for Transport. You can read the letters in the right hand column. 

At a meeting organised by HS2 Ltd on Monday 23 February 2015, members of the local community and Camden Council were briefed about the scheme for Euston that HS2 plan to take to the Secretary of State in March.

Following the meeting Councillor Sarah Hayward, Leader of Camden Council, said:

“We’re pretty appalled by what we were shown at the Euston Community meeting on Monday night. Government ministers promised that the community would be consulted on options for a comprehensive redevelopment of the station. Instead we’ve been presented with a fait accompli that extends the end date of the building works from 2026 to nearly 2040 and does nothing to deal with the current substandard station.

“Sadly, although I’m shocked, I’m not surprised and we’ll need to work out the next steps. If this scheme goes ahead Camden will be blighted for decades and there’ll be no extra jobs or homes at Euston station.”

Camden Council understand that the concept outlined last night would:

  • Use the same footprint as the current scheme in the Hybrid Bill, known as Option 8, taking land to the west of Euston station.
  • Adopt a phased approach that would see:
    • The first 6 High speed lines built to the west of the station by 2026
    • The second 5 high speed lines built within the station by 2033
    • The re-development of the classic (eastern) side of the station being re-developed by Network Rail at an unspecified time in the future.
  • An Additional Provision is expected to be brought to Parliament in September

Although Camden Council remains opposed to HS2 as currently planned, any new scheme imposed on Euston must:

  • Deliver a comprehensive re-design of Euston station in line with the principles and objectives of the Euston Area Plan
  • Provide affordable homes and jobs in any over-station development
  • Provide east-west permeability, active frontages on the west and east sides of the station, and new and improved public realm and open space.
  • Minimise the impact of construction on local homes and businesses
  • Properly integrate with the local transport network, including pedestrian and cycle routes

On Friday January 25th, Transport Minister John Hayes, responding for the Government in a Private Members Bill debate (Hansard 23 Jan 2015 Column 514) , said:

"Let me tell hon. Members what I think about the redevelopment of Euston. This will perhaps come as news to my right hon. Friend and others, but I am absolutely determined that the development of Euston should be ambitious and bold in the way she described. I am absolutely determined that we should end with something that takes its inspiration from the arch. We do not want some vile, low-budget, modern monstrosity. We want a building that is grand and fit for the future, that is a landmark destination and that is as glorious as the new redevelopment of St Pancras or the addition to King’s Cross. We have a good recent record on what can be done at these large London stations. Let us do nothing less than that at Euston—indeed, let us try to do more. So, I will not be constrained in my ambitions in the way she says, and I could hardly be so, given that I claimed earlier to believe that politicians in this place should be bold, courageous, ambitious and inventive. I want a neoclassical building on a grand scale at Euston, and it does not take a lot of working out to realise that the inspiration—the genesis for that—should come from the redeveloped arch."

More information

Camden Council opposes plans for HS2 as currently proposed. If the government does go ahead with the scheme, Camden is committed to securing the best deal for our communities. Find out more here.