MPs and council leaders came together today to form a cross-party alliance demanding the Government provide a 'fair deal for London' regarding HS2 compensation.
The group says it wants adequate replacement housing for people who have to move during construction; mitigation and compensation for those who have to remain in their homes throughout the building works; and up-front compensation for businesses to offset their loss of trade and property values.
Members are also calling for 'fair compensation and mitigation' for the loss of community facilities such as the Hillingdon Outdoor Activity Centre, which is situated on the proposed route.
Councillor Ray Puddifoot, leader of Hillingdon Council, said: "The current HS2 compensation package on offer to Hillingdon residents and business owners is frankly unacceptable, given the scale of the disruption and heartache we will have to live with.
“Decades of major construction work, noise and air pollution are due to be imposed on us, as well as the devastating loss of homes, wildlife habitats and community hubs such as the Hillingdon Outdoor Activity Centre.
"I would urge everyone who continues to oppose HS2 to support the London Alliance by signing our petition calling on the Government to provide a fairer deal for all Londoners whose lives will be blighted by this multi-million pound folly."
According to the alliance, approximately 200 homes in Ealing could be made uninhabitable during the construction phase and when trains start operating.
Citing government reports, the group also says:
• 95% of homes identified as those that will be significantly affected by either noise or vibration during the construction of HS2 are in urban areas;
• 91% of homes identified as those that will be significantly affected by night-time noise are in London; and
• areas of London will experience up to 590 extra HGV journeys per day during the construction.
The alliance comprises six MPs - including Sir John Randall, for Uxbridge and South Ruislip; Nick Hurd, for Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner; Stephen Pound, for Ealing North; and Angie Bray, for Ealing Central and Acton - and three council leaders - including Councillor Ray Puddifoot, of Hillingdon Council; and Councillor Julian Bell, of Ealing Council.
Councillor Sarah Hayward, leader of Camden Council, which set up the alliance, said: “London stands to lose the most from HS2, with Londoners set to suffer over a decade of disruption from multiple construction works.
“Hundreds of residents and businesses are set to be left out of pocket due to the inadequate compensation package proposed.
“We urge the Government to recognise that unique circumstances exist in London through a tailored compensation package for the capital’s residents and businesses.”
In rural areas, communities within 300 metres of the line will receive additional compensation, but no such tailored approach applies in central London, where compensation is only offered to those in ‘safeguarding areas’ - zones that reflect planning process rather than actual impact.
Only businesses that are owner-occupied or have a rateable value of under £34,800 will be entitled to the government’s proposed additional compensation. The alliance says this excludes many businesses in London because of their high land values.
To sign the e-petition, visit www.hillingdon.gov.uk/hs2