Written evidence from Derwent London plc
1. As Chief Executive of Derwent London plc,
I am writing in response to the consultation on high speed rail
that will form part of the Transport Select Committee's inquiry.
2. Derwent London is the largest Central London
focussed REIT with a portfolio valued at over £2.4 billion.
In particular, we have a substantial land holding adjacent to
Euston Station at 132-142 Hampstead Road that will be directly
affected by the proposed HS2 central London terminus.
3. We support investment in the economy through
infrastructure projects and indeed supported Crossrail having
owned the Tottenham Court Road Station over site development for
4. We are of the opinion that substantial savings
could be achieved by altering the route, whilst maintaining the
key benefits to the economy of HS2. We therefore urge the committee
to consider alternative options to terminating HS2 at Euston.
5. We support HS2 in principle, however, we are
concerned about the significant implications surrounding the route
terminating at Euston.
6. Current plans for the proposed HS2 rail link
suggest that the route will follow the North London line through
Camden. This would require our Euston site to be the subject of
a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO), which has the potential to
be the largest ever CPO granted in the United Kingdom. Given the
high property values in Central London and in light of the Government's
budget reduction programme, substantial savings could be made
by not bringing HS2 into Central London and terminating at an
alternative site such as Old Oak Common.
7. Euston Station is already under strain in
terms of capacity. The London Underground is unlikely to be able
to cope with the additional passenger numbers that will be brought
into Euston by HS2 without substantial additional investment.
Terminating HS2 at Old Oak Common would avoid this issue by allowing
HS2 passengers to connect onto Crossrail.
8. We support the assertion that should the current
plans for HS2 go ahead further consideration will be required
in order to deal with the additional large numbers of people arriving
at London Euston. We also agree that further consideration needs
to be given to the impact HS2 will have on passenger flows across
London and particularly the additional demand it will bring to
the London Underground.
9. The Network Rail Route Utilisation Strategy
Consultation 2010 contained options which proposed increasing
connectivity to Old Oak Common from the West Coast Mainline services.
The major benefit of this option is the reduction in demand on
the Underground system at Euston. Likewise, this option could
be used in respect of HS2 in order to reduce the costs of HS2
and capacity overload coming into London Euston.
10. The proposed extended terminus for Euston
will have significant implications to the surrounding area in
terms of long term blight and the damaging effect this will have
on the area. The lack of certainty as to timing that a proposal
such as this can bring, having experienced the stop/start nature
of Crossrail, gives us grave concern.
11. Should the Euston terminus go ahead the size
of the project will also severely impact on the area with hundreds
of residential units being demolished as part of the redevelopment.
Hammersmith & Fulham Council strongly supports the redevelopment
of Old Oak Common and the new homes it will create.
12. In conclusion, we are of the view that there
are more attractive alternatives to terminating HS2 at Euston
both in terms of transport connectivity and cost.
13. We are currently engaging with adjoining
owners and the London Borough of Camden in respect of the impact
of HS2 and would be happy to provide further assistance or any
clarification which would assist the committee.