The report suggests that location of the proposed ventilation shaft and transformer (see CGI above), next to Queen's Park Station, would have an adverse affect 'not only on that site but also on the Council's regeneration plans for the wider South Kilburn area'.
The report states that there are a number of good reasons to offer broad strategic support for HS2 in terms of improved connectivity and job opportunities in areas such as Old Oak Common, but identifies three negative impacts on the borough.
1, The Bill seeks powers for the compulsory acquisition of 'all interests' in land in South Kilburn 'which does not appear to be required to implement the proposed new high speed railway line. The land includes parts of the South Kilburn Estate including St Mary's School, parts of site 11b, Alpha and Gorefield Houses and the new development on Cambridge Road and Chichester Road. It is also proposed that some land will be possessed on a temporary basis and the Council states that it sees no reason why the sites above should be permanently acquired by HS2 and should petition on this basis if discussions with HS2 fail.
The Council has put forward an alternatiuve plan for the ventilation shaft to go on the east side of Queen's Park Station but HS2 said although that was technically possible their preferred site was still the original proposals because of 'changes that would otherwise be required to the alignment of the proposed HS2 tunnel, access issues and a likely increase in temporary impacts during construction on nearby residents and a local school'.
A subsequent report from Lambert Smith Hampton, commissioned by the Council, concluded that there was a 'clear economic and financial benefit associated with relocating the ventilation shaft and auto transformer from Site 18 to the alternative Canterbury Works site. The Council will challenge the adequacy of the project's Environment Statement on the basis of:
- Inadequate consideration of alternative sites for the proposed ventilation shaft and transform
- No proper justification for the current design and scale of proposals
- Incorrect baseline assumptions
- Inaccurate assessment of effects; and
- Lack of/inadequate mitigations proposed
The report argues that such a link would enable users of London Midland Services to transfer onto Crossrail, 'providing improved services straight into central London. It would ease congestion at Euston and save passenger time. Officers suggest, 'By accommodating the future delivery of this link as part of the HS2 construction plans at Oak Old Common, there would be an opportunity for trains to run to Wembley with a direct link on to Heathrow and services to the West of England.'.
Officers recommend that the Council considers supporting any petition by TfL for the delivery of enabling works at Old Oak Common to allow for this link.
The report discusses the uncertainties over the amount of compensation the Council might receive from compulsory purchase but goes on to state, 'It is clear that several millions of value are at risk from the HS2 proposals as they currently stand.'
The report sets out the estimated costs of Petitioning the HS2 Bill:
Ventilation Shaft: £150,000
Compulsory Purchase Order £40,000
West Coast Mainline Route £380,000
The report recommends the first two only.