HS2: Council pushes HS2 Ltd to keep Adelaide Local Nature Reserve open to the public
Camden Council has successfully pushed HS2 Ltd to keep Adelaide Local Nature Reserve open to the public, following HS2 Ltd issuing a temporary possession notice that could have closed it for a significant period of time.
In April, HS2 Ltd issued a temporary possession notice for Adelaide Local Nature Reserve to the Council that is due to take effect from 15 August. HS2 Ltd has indicated that it intends to take possession of the nature reserve for two years (although HS2 Ltd may extend possession), in order to create new wildlife habitats, move species from sites used for HS2 construction, and then monitor the works. These works are part of measures to reduce the impact of the railway scheme.
We objected to HS2 Ltd’s original plans to completely close the nature reserve to the public during this time, which would also have had significant long-term impacts on the community groups that maintain the site for us, including the Adelaide Nature Reserve Association and the Adelaide and Belsize Green Gym.
HS2 Ltd also planned to erect hoarding around the site, which would have blocked views into the nature reserve.
Following negotiations led by the Council, HS2 Ltd has committed to now only closing the nature reserve when it needs the site to carry out works. This means there should be little impact on public opening hours, and community groups can continue to maintain the site.
HS2 Ltd advised us that it expects to close the nature reserve for around a month from mid August 2017 to carry out the initial planned works, with further occasional closures for only a few days at a time for any additional works HS2 Ltd needs to carry out during the period it is in possession of the site.
HS2 Ltd has also dropped its plans to hoard off the site. Instead, HS2 Ltd will carry out works to the existing wire mesh fence and install a new wire mesh fence at the Adelaide Road entrance, which will allow views into the nature reserve.
We are pleased that HS2 Ltd has listened to the Council’s concerns around its disproportionate closure of Adelaide Local Nature Reserve to the public. The nature reserve will now only be closed when HS2 Ltd needs to carry out work to help reduce the impact of HS2 on wildlife. This means that the reserve will remain open for our communities to enjoy at weekends, as usual, and volunteers from local groups can continue to maintain this valuable green space. We continue to push HS2 Ltd to find ways to reduce the impact of the railway scheme on Camden.