Thursday, 24 July 2014

New station would see 216 homes demolished in north London borough

MP urges Camden to fight high-speed rail project

A former cabinet minister has pressed a London council to take action after the government unveiled plans this week to bulldoze hundreds of social homes to make way for a £33 billion rail project.

Frank Dobson, MP for Holborn and St Pancras, told Inside Housing that he wanted Camden Council to hammer away at the government’s plans to build the high speed two rail link between London and Birmingham, later extending to Manchester and Leeds.

At least 338 houses will be demolished - 216 in Camden - to make space for a new station in Euston.

Of the Camden homes, 182 are council-owned. A further 172 properties are at risk in the borough, according to council estimates.

Mr Dobson is lobbying for the new station to be built in Old Oak Common claiming it is better served with rail lines and would not displace so many people.

‘They [Camden Council] have to continue to pound away for the case for Old Oak Common and at the same time, as a fall back, ensure a series of guarantees for tenants,’ he said.

Mr Dobson said he had written to transport secretary Justine Greening to request that displaced tenants be guaranteed suitable permanent alternative accommodation in the borough with no change in tenancy. Mr Dobson also demanded that council tenants remain as such and that rent and service charges stay the same.

A Camden Council spokesperson said it would write to residents affected to let them know where to get advice. It said it hadn’t decided on any further course of action yet.

Stan Passmore, 85, has lived for 40 years on the Regent’s Park estate, swathes of which are in line for demolition, and is part of the campaign fighting the project. Mr Passmore said residents were depressed and frightened by the high speed two proposals.

Birmingham Council said it had not yet carried out an impact assessment to determine the effect on housing in the city, where scores of properties will also have to be demolished.

The Department for Transport has pledged to replace social housing demolished to make way for the project with 250 new social homes.

Readers' comments (4)

  • Gavin Rider

    "The Department of Transport has pledged to replace social housing demolished to make way for the project with 250 new social homes."

    Perhaps nobody in the Department FOR Transport has noticed that they will be demolishing HOMES and replacing them with HOUSES - which is not at all the same thing.

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  • Peter Wicks

    A rich mans perk..ordinary mortals could never afford the ticket price of a rail ticket...I hope the protests "de-rails" the whole ruddy lot

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  • The posh don't want it because the track will spoil swathes of beautiful countryside and poor don't want it because if they're not going to lose their homes, they're not going to be able to afford to use it anyway.
    I don't see the case for billions of pounds to be spent on something that won't revolutionise most people's lives when it's finished, only add half an hour, half an hour! on to someone's journey and at what cost?! How much will the tax payer pay to use this heavily tax payer subsidised private line?
    Meanwhile there's 22,000 people on the waiting list for social accomodation in Camden. That doesn't look like it will decrease anytime soon. While in Birmingham it's set to increase.
    Can we have a national referendum?

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  • Rick Campbell

    So, this folly plus the Olympics = around £40bn so the government, without a mandate thinks 'lets have a go at cutting payments to very sick kids and the vulnerable.'

    And there's some posters who relish the idea -- the safety net is being taken away and the stupid politicians cannot see the harm they are doing -- or they don't care -- or both.

    They just seem tolove filling the trousers of their mates as well as themselves -- though, thankfully there are excertions.

    There are people in power who should be ashamed of themselves in what is supposed to be a 'first world country'

    And to compound things, the weasels in power think 'Whilst we're at it, lets make sure some big corporations get away with not paying tax -- never mind that we have hundreds of thousands extra kids on the poverty line.

    There will be acolytes and apologists who believe the mushrooming they get -- mushrooms are kept in the dark and fed a diet of manure.

    Man's ihumanity to man.

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