HS2 compensation is unfair: Camden’s warning for Leeds and Manchester

Camden Council has stressed the need for fair compensation for urban areas affected by major infrastructure projects as the Second Reading of the High Speed 2 (HS2) Bill in the House of Lords took place today (Thursday).

You can read a transcript of the House of Lords debate online.

Councillor Sarah Hayward, Leader of Camden Council, said: “It’s simply not fair that Camden residents and businesses could spend years living next to a construction zone without a penny of compensation, which they would be entitled to in the countryside.

“We call on the Lords from the North of England and Scotland to recognise that if the Government fails to make significant changes to the compensation scheme now, cities like Manchester and Leeds could also lose out in Phase 2 of HS2.”

Residents and businesses in urban areas like Camden are only eligible for two of the five compensation schemes available to people in the countryside under the current package, which also fails to take account of the capital’s high property prices and business rates. This is despite central London suffering some of the most acute and prolonged impacts from the construction of HS2.

You can read the Council’s draft petition on our website.

Camden Council’s draft petition the House of Lords highlights that HS2 Ltd. have failed to properly engage with Camden residents and businesses affected by the scheme since Camden’s petitioners appeared at Select Committee in December.

Councillor Hayward added: “We hope the Lords will support us in holding HS2 Ltd. to account on the assurances they have given us to alleviate the worst impacts of the scheme in Camden.

“We will also ask them to recognise that we will lose a huge opportunity if we do not get a commitment from Government to develop the current Euston Station in conjunction with plans for HS2 and Crossrail 2, to enable us to achieve the area’s full potential of new affordable homes and jobs.”

The petition enables the Council to appear before the House of Lords Select Committee on additional points if the outcome of the studies into transporting construction materials and spoil by rail rather than road; into air quality and into altering the height of Hampstead Road Bridge that HS2 Ltd. have committed to carry out, fail to address the points in our original petition.

The Council is continuing to work on the legal Agreement that underpins the Assurances on open space, replacement trees and provision of a construction training centre. The Council has reserved the right to appear before the Select Committee on these issues if the legal Agreement is not agreed by that time.