Queens Park Area Residents Association response to consultation on HS2 Environmental Statement (ES) November 2013
Community Area 4 – Salusbury Road site (sent to: HS2PhaseOneBill@dialoguebydesign.com).
Queens Park Area Residents Association (QPARA) provides the attached comments on HS2's Environmental Statement, in particular relating to the proposals in the report on Community Forum Area 4.
In relation to the Salusbury Road proposals for a vent shaft headhouse and auto-transformer in a prominent residential and amenity location, we consider that the Environmental Statement is seriously flawed on the following grounds:
· It represents the context as car parking and light industry instead of reflecting planning permission for a residential development of 137 flats and a focal point for South Kilburn regeneration involving a significant transport interchange;
It takes no account of the Queen’s
· There is no risk assessment of the safety implications for passers by or for the proposed railway of siting a relatively unprotected transformer in such a vulnerable position;
· No engineering explanation or justification is offered for an auto-transformer of the size proposed; there is no design shown anywhere in the HS2 documentation; there is no indication of how it will be connected to the National Grid; and there is no reference to the continuous low hum which will affect nearby residents;
· Although there is a sketch of a typical vent shaft, which is understood to be a means of escape via stairs or a lift, there is no explanation as to why the headhouse needs to be 10m high and have an area of 800sq m or what it will contain;
· Since it is conceded that alternative sites for the installations are feasible they should have been fully and carefully assessed, rather than being perfunctorily dismissed;
· No mitigation measures are offered.
We were pleased to be able to meet HS2 officials on 13 February 2014 to explore these issues but our concerns have not so far been allayed.
QPARA also has significant concern about the consultation process, in particular regarding the transformer. The very prominent location of this in the car park was first presented in November 2013 in the ES after three years of consultative Community Forum discussions in which it did not feature (nor was it situated there in the draft ES May 2013). A more general concern is that HS2’s letter to local residents in November about the ES made no mention of the site scheme, and provided only a link to a home website which was complex to navigate, and with no indication anyway of what to search for. The net effect is that residents potentially impacted by these proposals are almost entirely unaware of them after this consultation. This may well explain any low and unrepresentative response rate.
Our observations about the process in turn
reflect a more general concern about the way in which HS2 proposals for the
Janis Denselow, Chair,
Queen’s Park Area Residents’ Association.