HS2 residents warned to keep their windows shut… for 17 years
It's shows the power of money over humanity, say tenants as plan for noisy construction work is unveiled
20 July, 2017 — By Tom Foot
HUNDREDS of households are facing 17 years without being able to open their windows because of the sheer noise expected during the construction of the controversial High Speed 2 railway line.
In the latest blow for residents living near the proposed HS2 line, more than 1,300 homes around Camden Town and Euston have been identified as being in areas where noise levels will exceed acceptable limits. They have been warned to expect up to 75 decibels of noise at their homes, leading to an offer of “secondary glazing windows”, which will keep the sound out and in some cases stop them from opening up their flats and houses to the fresh air. Instead, more equipment will be fitted – including ventilation units and pollution filters – as a substitute.
HS2 Limited, the company set up by the government to run the £63billion railway, hated in many quarters for the demolition, disruption and huge cost to public spending, has signalled homes in Drummond Street, Park Village East, Mornington Terrace, Delancey Street, the Ampthill Square towers and the Regent’s Park estate will all be adversely affected.
Actress Ruth Jones, who lives in the Dalehead tower block in Ampthill, said: “The bottom line is that the quality of our lives will be very much affected and they are offering us absolutely nothing in return. We are looking at 17 years – that’s a whole generation – living next to the biggest building site in Europe.”
She added: “I value my silence, for concentration. We have windows open all the time, it gets quite musty here otherwise. The constant drilling, and through the night – I’m just amazed that they can go ahead with that. The dust is also going to adversely affect people. I haven’t got much space as it is. I see it as an intrusion in the home. I find it a personal violation.”
Ms Jones said HS2 officials kept leaving calling cards at her home but that she had “so much contempt for these manna-driven barbarians” she found it “difficult to even read their incredibly asinine, sanitised, feel-good publicity on the subject”.
She added: “It’s a bit like Brexit – I’m not prepared to believe it will happen. The whole project, it really shows the power of money over humanity.” Early next year, several hundred lorries will begin rolling into HS2’s central construction area, on the site of the demolished National Temperance Hospital in Hampstead Road, every day. Works are due to last until at least 2033.
John Myers, who lives in Drummond Street, said: “I work from home so I will be working with this noise outside for many years. There is a question about whether the homes will get too hot. There are so many things going on right now and a lot of it is starting to happen right now. The council has said that some buildings in the Ampthill are susceptible to mould, damp and excess heat, and that these conditions may be made worse by installing secondary glazing, or keeping windows closed for long periods.”
A spokesman for HS2 said: “Over 1,300 properties around HS2 worksites in the Euston area are likely to be eligible for noise insulation. Supplementary ventilation is often required, so you can keep your windows closed during periods of noise. Venetian-style blinds can also be installed between the panes, to shade rooms from direct sunlight and reduce heat.”