CamdenNewJournal

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HS2 tunnel work is considered a hazard and Camden Council must take heed

02 March, 2017

• FURTHER to Essential Living’s most recent attempt to demolish 100 Avenue Road before meeting all the pre-conditions laid down in “condition 31”, it has come to light that HS2 is considered a geotechnical hazard to the site because the development’s southern boundary is within an HS2 ”safeguard zone with a “high probability for potential damage” from future HS2 tunnel construction. [AECOM Geotechnical Interpretation Report 10, Table 6-1: Ground Related Hazards]

The report recommends that EL undertake: “ground impact assessments to assess the effect of the proposed development on underground structures and the effect of the proposed HS2 tunnel on the building in order to meet HS2 requirements”.

If Camden Council has not seen these ground impact assessments and is not entirely satisfied that they have seen all the necessary assessments to meet HS2 requirements, it should be inconceivable that the council would allow this application for premature demolition to proceed without them, given the potential horrendous public safety ramifications.

The inspector fully intended for all the conditions in “condition 31” to be met prior to demolition, otherwise he would not have laid them down. By posting this application for demolition before “condition 31” is met in full, the council again appears to show itself willing to dispense with its legal obligation to honour all the safeguarding conditions in “condition 31” but to choose, rather, to aid and abet EL’s urgent push to establish the hole in the ground it so desperately needs.

The public understands only too well that once “condition 31” has been discharged and demolition begins, the three-year time limit laid down in “condition 1” of EL’s planning permission will be set aside and EL will automatically achieve planning permission with no time limit for the whole development.

If council officers approve this application, the council will have handed the developers dream options on a platter: to either build at leisure, or not to build at all, perhaps leaving the local community with a demolition site until such time as EL decide to sell it on – with planning permission and at great profit. We can but hope that the council will find the ethical courage to prioritise its moral, safety, and legal obligations to the local community ahead of its impatience to get its hands on the section 106/Community Infrastructure Levy million pounds’ bonanza that has been the holy grail of the 100 Avenue Road planning application from day one.

Send your objections to: Ref: application no. 2016/6699/P c/o Michael.cassidy@camden.gov.uk and planning@camden.gov.uk

EDIE RAFF
Chair, Cresta House Residents Association

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