Camden takes housing precautions for tenants threatened by HS2
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Local Government and also in Development, Housing
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Camden Council says it has secured new homes for some of the tenants that will be displaced should the controversial High Speed Two (HS2) scheme go ahead.
HS2 Ltd has agreed to pay the council for some newly built flats, which in the absence of HS2 would have been sold privately to fund the refurbishment and redevelopment of a school.
The development will now be kept as social housing to replace half the flats in the Euston area which face demolition.
HS2 Ltd will pay Camden the market value of the replacement flats. The money will be used to fund the redevelopment of Netley School, investment in new council housing and other community projects.
The council says it will continue to negotiate with HS2 Ltd to secure further replacement homes for the remaining tenants who would be displaced by the scheme.
Camden is strongly opposed to HS2 because of the negative impact it will have on the borough.
Last year, an independent report concluded that HS2 would cost Camden over £1 billion in disruption. However, the government has set aside a mere £400 million compensation package for the borough.
Councillor Sarah Hayward, leader of Camden Council, said: “We are opposed to HS2 because of the negative impact on our borough. Hundreds of people are being forced to move from their homes, and the struggle to find replacement homes is having a knock on effect on our ability to deliver additional homes for people on the waiting list.
“Camden has secured this deal to make sure that if HS2 does go ahead, residents who lose their homes will receive high quality replacement housing in a similar area. This comes at no extra cost to the community or our house-building programme.
“We are disappointed that this agreement with HS2 Ltd has been marred by needless delays. This has created unnecessary uncertainty for our residents and poor value for money for taxpayers. The council is firm that if our residents have to move at all it should only be once, which means no temporary rehousing while new properties are built. HS2 Ltd must get their act together on the next phase of replacement housing to avoid further delays.”