Belsize Liberal Democrats

Your local Belsize Lib Dem team. Published and promoted on behalf of the Liberal Democrats by T.Simon at 242 Webheath Community Workshops, Netherwood Street, London, NW6 2JX. Learn more


by tomsimon on 23 December, 2010

Fellows Rd

The high speed rail link from London to Birmingham (HS2) has a new proposed route in London – right under Fellows Rd and the Chalcot Towers. Recently I attended a briefing and Q&A session by HS2 at the Town Hall. In case you are not aware there was a previous proposed route along King Henry’s Rd in March this year. The new route has potential implications within our area for the Chalcot Towers, the Fellows Rd Estate and for other residential properties on Adelaide Rd, Fellows Rd, King’s College Rd, Merton Rise, Winchester Rd and Eton Avenue. Some key points from the meeting:

 – HS2 say the reason for the modified route is that it is difficult to find suitable locations for the large ventilations shafts for the tunnel – when these are located, they tend to dictate the details of the route. These shafts are large (25m2, usually 2 stories above ground level), but are apparently quite quiet. In our area they propose to put one on the south side of Adelaide Rd, on railway land below the nature reserve. You may have picked up on commentators suggesting the reason for the move is in fact the storm of protest the old route met from celebs and QCs in Primrose Hill. The new route in Camden does run largely under council estates!

 – There would be 2 tunnels, with a third branching off in our area to link with the HS1 terminus at St. Pancras. The tunnels are planned to be 30-50m deep, which is apparently deeper than any London tube line. HS2 are say they are confident that when the service is operating it would not be noticed due to the depth and the high-tech construction techniques used. I’m told that the HS1 tunnel under London has had no valid complaints. This will of course be something to keep asking about! If it is to go ahead on this route, we would want a legally binding guarantee.

 – The construction of the tunnels may cause some noise/vibrations. HS2 say it could cause some minor cracks of a cosmetic nature, although this point was a bit unclear and will be something to focus on during the consultation (see below). I asked how long these vibrations might last for any particular location. The tunnelling goes at about 10m/day and any particular address might be affected for 2-3 days per tunnel.

 – The timetable for the whole thing is as follows: consultation to start in Feb 2011, decision on route taken by government late 2011, detailed plans/impact assessment put together in 2012, Bill before Parliament in 2013, Royal Assent 2015, construction 2017-2025.

The proposed route can be found on this link:

There will also be further pre-consultation meetings like the one recently if there is demand. Any concerned community or residents groups will be entitled to attend. Please let us know if you are interested. In the meantime we may be able to get answer to any questions or concerns you raise.


4 Responses

  1. Jo Webster says:

    I’m a resident of 53 D Eton Avenue and extremely anxious about the impact of the new proposed route for HS2. Noise and environmental factors are especially my concerns. The benefits this ‘proposed route will bring are also not convincing.

  2. Tom Simon says:

    Hi Jo
    Thanks for your comment. I completely understand your concerns and will be providing further updates as I have them. The consultation is due to start on 28th February, but I don’t have any more information on it at present.

  3. Jameel says:

    Thanks Tom,

    Has there been any update to this? I’m looking to purchase a property on Eton Av & this has caused a big concern for me. Is the worry the vibrations caused during digging the tunnels? or vibrations caused by trains running through the tunnels?

    I read that vibrations were being considered an issue up to 100m from the HS2 lines, but presumably in Belsize Park so close to London Euston trains will still be travelling slowly / decelerating so vibrations wont be as bad?

    • Tom Simon says:

      Thank you for your comments/questions on my blog. By coincidence, I was at a meeting about the local impact this morning! Things have moved on quite a bit since my last blog post on HS2. I’ll stick to the impact in Belsize Ward and Camden for now, but if you would like information about the national argument, let me know.

      For most properties in Belsize it is likely there will be little or no direct impact. The route is planned to run up Fellows Road. I have been told that due to the depth of the tunnel (about 50m) it is very unlikely that properties will be affected, other than perhaps some slight vibrations when the tunneling is carried out. This is predicted to be 2019. The tunnelling moves at about 100m/week. I suppose that properties on the south side of Eton Avenue might share this affect.

      There is also the impact on our local nature reserve on Adelaide Rd, which would be right by the location for an emergency access shaft. It is not yet clear, but this can’t be good for the nature reserve!

      Then there is the impact on the London Overground service, which is used by residents in the area. The current proposal for the connecting line to HS1 (Eurostar) would share the route and mean rebuilding the Victorian railway bridges, causing a huge amount of disruption to rail and road transport in the area.

      In terms of property values, you would need to speak to an estate agent. I understand there might be a perception of a problem, leading to a temporary drop in prices, but don’t really know.

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