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New homes and £9,000 for Londoners affected by HS2

By Steve Heldon

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ondoners whose lives are being made a misery by the HS2 site in Euston are set to be offered financial incentives to move out of their home.

About 150 households in three tower blocks that had fallen outside a safeguarding area will be helped to leave the area after suffering years of noise, vibration and poor air quality.

Council tenants will be offered a new home and up to £9,250 in compensation while leaseholders will receive the market value of their property plus up to £71,000 in compensation.

The deal — Camden council has secured funding in principle from HS2 and the Department for Transport — is open to consultation until December 19 and awaiting approval by the council’s cabinet.

Residents of Cartmel, Coniston and Langdale tower blocks on the Regent’s Park estate, immediately west of the station, were receiving details of the voluntary offer this week.

Under the deal, council tenants will receive £7,100 compensation plus a “disturbance payment” of between £750 and £2,150, depending on the number of rooms in the property they move into. There will also be help with the cost of moving.

Three other blocks on the estate have already been demolished and their residents moved to new homes.

Council chiefs said many remaining residents had been exposed to “unacceptable construction impacts” after being excluded from previous relocation schemes.

The deal should mean that council tenants can choose from a wider range of new homes, including on the nearby Regent’s Park estate, while offering a “lifeline” for leaseholders trapped because they were unable to sell.

Camden leader Georgia Gould said: “The last few years have been a really difficult time for residents in Cartmel, Coniston and Langdale.

“From years of worry about what could happen as plans for HS2 took shape, to the current daily reality of dust and noise, the cumulative effects have become disruptive.”

The council said no decision had been taken about whether the blocks would be demolished or refurbished once HS2 was completed. The vast site at Euston is still being prepared, with 18 months of tunnelling — starting from Old Oak Common — due to begin in 2024.

Phase one of the line between Old Oak Common and Birmingham is due to open around 2030, with Euston’s 10-platform HS2 station opening between 2031 and 2035.

HS2 said the council would be able to rehouse residents quicker than it would on a case-by-case basis.

It had been accused of taking too long to fit noise insulation to flats in the three blocks — a problem exacerbated during the “stay at home” phase of the pandemic.

George Chilcott, delivery sponsor for Euston at HS2 Ltd, said: “Through close co-operation we were able to deliver a solution for the residents that meets the challenge of the unique nature and duration of the works in the area.

“The impact on local communities is something HS2 Ltd takes extremely seriously, and we will continue to seek to minimise disruption where possible.”

Source: Healthy Duck.