Vicar and campaigner chained to tree in HS2 Euston protest

Rev Anne Stevens and Jo Hurford

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Camden resident Jo Hurford (left) says HS2 is “ripping our community apart”.

A vicar and a campaigner have chained themselves to a tree near Euston station in protest over HS2.

The Camden station is being redeveloped as part of the £55.7bn HS2 high-speed rail project.

Rev Anne Stevens of neighbouring St Pancras Church, who was joined by local resident Jo Hurford, says HS2 is harming the local community, businesses and environment.

HS2 said the project would provide “much-needed extra capacity at Euston”.

The station’s redevelopment will see the remains of 60,000 people buried on the nearby St James’ Gardens exhumed and half of Euston Gardens closed.

The HS2 project is also expected to lead to more than 500 trees being cut down in Camden

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St James’ Gardens was a burial ground from 1790 until 1853

Ms Stevens said: “As the local parish church we’re standing side-by-side with the local community to protest what HS2 are doing here.

“This project is having a devastating effect on homes and local businesses – particularly on our green spaces.

“We’ve said this at consultation meetings, but we we haven’t been listened to all the way through the process.”

The heavy duty chains, she added, are a “symbol of the powerlessness the local community are feeling in the face of this project”.

Ms Hurford, who has lived in the area for seven years, said the loss of parts of Euston Gardens will be “huge” for the community.

“This [project] is already ripping our community apart,” she said.

An HS2 spokesperson said the company was working with Camden Borough Council to “ensure that all trees lost during construction are replaced and other open spaces in the local community are enhanced”.

HS2, the spokesperson said, would create a “green corridor consisting of new woodland, wildlife habitats and new amenity facilities” while more than doubling the number of seats out of the station during peak hours at Euston.

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