HS2: Camden Council secures over 100 assurances from the Secretary of State

Camden Council has secured over 100 assurances on key measures that will help protect the lives and livelihoods of its residents and businesses from more than a decade of the worst aspects of High Speed 2 (HS2) construction.

In what Camden understands to be the largest settlement for any local authority, HS2 Ltd have agreed to measures including:

  • Plans to get hundreds of dangerous and polluting HGVs off our roads with a commitment for HS2 Ltd to work with Camden Council, Transport for London and Greater London Authority to develop a plan by May 2016 to use rail to remove spoil and deliver construction materials.
  • Safeguards ensuring homes close to construction remain fit to live in, including independent assessments that would commit HS2 Ltd to mitigating noise and ventilation issues prior to HS2 construction starting.
  • Like for like replacement of open space lost in Camden due to HS2.

Read the full list of measures of Camden Council’s agreement.

The Council appeared at Select Committee on Tuesday, 1 December on issues including the need to accelerate plans for a comprehensive redevelopment of Euston station, compensation, air quality, heritage and Clause 47, securing further improvements to the scheme and minimise its impact on the borough. 

Read full details of these additional agreements:

Speaking ahead of Camden’s Select Committee appearance, Leader of Camden Council, Councillor 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 HGV’s 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.”

Today’s agreement follows earlier agreements which secured replacement homes for tenants and leaseholders who will lose their homes to the scheme, the dropping of HS1-HS2 link and an agreement to consolidate Maria Fidelis school on one site. In total Camden has secured over 100 assurances that address each of the mitigation asks it was within HS2 Ltd’s power to address. These include:

  • Assistance for businesses to find suitable new premises or a support strategy for them to continue trading in their current location.
  • For HS2 Ltd to provide £4.1m towards a Euston construction skills centre.
  • A commitment for the Secretary of State for Transport and Secretary of State for Education to work together to ensure the consolidation of Maria Fidelis on one site is not unnecessarily delayed and specific mitigation measures to assess and address the impact of the scheme on schools.
  • HS2 Ltd and the Department for Transport will continue to participate in the Euston Strategic Board, chaired by the Leader of Camden Council, to ensure that the HS2 scheme supports and integrates with the objectives of the Euston Area Plan (EAP) and vision of the Euston Growth Strategy produced by the Strategic Board.
  • A new Euston Station Strategic Redevelopment Board, of which Camden will be a member, that will provide advice to the Secretary of State for Transport on the integration, design and delivery of Euston station in its entirety. This Board will co-ordinate any development of Euston Mainline Station and any Crossrail 2 proposals that come forward, ensuring a comprehensive approach is taken to developing Euston station that minimises the impact on Camden.
  • A commitment to explore a Camden-specific requirement that all vehicles used during the construction of the scheme will be powered by Euro VI/6 (or lower emission) engines by 2020.
  • HS2 Ltd to work with Camden Council and local residents to agree designs for the Alexandra and Ainsworth Estate and Adelaide Road vent shafts.
  • HS2 Ltd to work with Camden Council to find a new location for Silverdale Motorcycle Club – with HS2 Ltd committing £160,000 of funding.

Further agreements were made during the Select Committee hearing included:

  • HS2 will carry out baseline (pre-works) air quality monitoring before works start in locations where potential significant effects are predicted. These will be reviewed and updated where necessary and if significant impacts are still predicted an action plan will be drawn up and implemented.
  • HS2 have agreed to share monitoring data with Camden on an annual basis
  • Camden will be able to refuse to approve plans or specifications of building works (or impose a condition) on the grounds that the design or external appearance of the building works ought to be modified to preserve a site of archaeological or historic interest, or its setting.
  • The Secretary of State will require HS2 Ltd to ensure that the Code of Construction Practice will reflect best practice from other major infrastructure projects.
  • HS2 have agreed to delete a paragraph in schedule 16 of the HS2 Bill that would have enabled it to agree conditions in relation to building works.

You can read assurances given to petitioners along the length of the route in HS2 Ltd.'s register of undertakings and assurances.

9 March 2016: Assurance letters on the Code of Construction Practice (CoCP), planning, construction noise and vibration and Section 61 consents added to this page.

25 February 2016: HS2 Ltd have now sent us corrected assurance documents, which you can read in the right-hand side bar.

The original documents we received are listed below: