CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Round-the-clock HS2 works rattle home of opera singer

Being at home 'like being inside a tumble dryer all night'

28 January, 2021 — By Tom Foot

Louisa Beard

AN opera singer is suffering sleepless nights due to the “incredible reverberation” from round-the-clock HS2 works.

Louisa Beard said her home in Delancey Street, Camden Town, is like the “inside of a tumble-dryer all night” since heavy-duty piling works began this month.

She said she has been met with an uncaring tone from the company running the £106billion railway scheme when complaining about the booming noises.

Ms Beard said: “It’s chaos and a nightmare – it’s during the weekend, day and night. Since January 13, I have not been able to sleep the whole night because of this incredible reverberation. The treatment we get as residents is patronising, rude – nobody cares.”

She added: “They lack humanity. They say we are helping the community, we are planting trees, but it is all marketing. They should send us to hotels.”

Ms Beard is a grand piano specialist who honed her singing at the Turin Conservatory of Music. Camden Council believes the loud piling works are breaking legal limits and have warned that some homes on the Regent’s Park estate have been made “virtually uninhabitable”.

HS2 is a £110billion railway to Birmingham that is set to cause chaos in Camden until at least 2036.

Parks, public greens, hundreds of homes and businesses have been demolished to make way for the new terminus at Euston. Residents close to the line have been promised sound-proofing but hundreds of homes are yet to have the insulation fitted. Ms Beard has recently been recording arias that are played to Covid scientists in the labs.

She said: “I’m recording in St Mary’s church and I send them a link with a message saying ‘thank you so much’. They are doing a fantastic job to keep going through all this.”

A HS2 Ltd spokesperson said: “In order to prepare for HS2, some works on the existing rail network are required. To reduce impact on the operation of the railway, these works are sometimes undertaken overnight. When this is necessary, notifications are sent to residents nearby, there is noise monitoring in place and we try to ensure it is done as quietly as possible.”

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