HS2 treating council tenants like ‘second class citizens’
Town Hall chiefs will decide if lorry route plans are approved
28 October, 2019 — By Tom Foot
Objections flood in to latest HS2 planning application
COUNCIL tenants say they have been left feeling like “second-class citizens” after HS2 unveiled plans to send hundreds of lorries crashing through the heart of an estate.
Officials have submitted an application to Camden Council over routes for the removal of rubble from the construction of a new retaining wall in Park Village East, “decking” over new railway lines at Mornington Terrace Bridge, the demolition of Hampstead Road bridge and construction of a 100ft “vent shaft” in Adelaide Road, Chalk Farm.
The works will bring thousands more lorries to Camden each week and 200 lorries a day down Stanhope Street and Robert Street on the Regent’s Park estate.
In her objection, Kaye Frain said: “Do they care about the children? Do they care about anybody? No, obviously not. This has got to be stopped. Are we second-class citizens just because we live on a council estate? Does our quality of life not matter?
“Zero per cent emission zones – what a joke. HS2 just want to kill us all off by making our area as polluted as possible. What heartless people sit down and plan these projects?”
In 2015, Town Hall chiefs dropped its official objection to HS2 after agreeing what it described as more than 100 “assurances” from the project’s managers. Some related to protecting residents on the Regent’s Park estate against noise and pollution from passing lorries.
Resident Georgina Reeves-Saad, who lives in Robert Street, pleaded with the council: “Do not dismiss our objections. “Residents are prepared to take whatever action they can to block these HGV vehicles from using our residential streets.”
Ursula Brown, who lives in Regent’s Park Estate, added: “The application is particularly shocking as there are clear alternatives which would avoid running the lorries through the heart of the Regent’s Park estate. The fact that HS2 are not proposing them shows how little regard they have for the health and wellbeing of residents.”
Lorries would also be going down Park Village East, Harrington Square, Grafton Way, Mornington Street and Delancy Street under the new plans.
Dozens of objections have been lodged from residents in these roads, including from University College London Hospitals, which has raised concerns about congestion on the “Grafton Loop”.
David Goldstein, who lives in Park Village East, one of the streets worst affected by lorry routes, said: “Haven’t we suffered enough with constant disturbance from works to date with noise and pollution? Be ready for a major claim against Camden planners for permitting a rat-run of lorries in addition to what we already suffer.”
HS2 said in its application that the project overall would “bring significant benefits for inter-urban rail travellers through increased capacity and improved connectivity between London, the Midlands and the North”.
It said it was up to the council “to agree planning conditions for lorry route approvals with HS2 Ltd”, adding that it was considering installing “speed hump modifications within Regent’s Park estate and along Park Village East” to “reduce noise associated HGV movements whilst providing an effective speed reduction for narrower vehicles”.
“These modifications could be used in conjunction with additional measures such as advisory speed restrictions and signage (10mph), vehicle-activated signage or cameras,” it added. A traffic light junction at the corner of Robert Street and Hampstead Road would also be installed.
An HS2 Ltd spokesperson said: “We are continually looking at ways to reduce the number of lorries on the roads required for our construction work, and in Camden are exploring the use of multiple routes to reduce the impact on the local community. We will also have a vehicle holding area to manage the volume of lorries on local roads, and where appropriate, will employ traffic marshals to help keep people safe and reduce disruption for road users.” HS2 works in Camden are not expected to be completed until 2031.