Possible impact of HS2 rail link on the 30 Euston Square project
Shortly after we purchased 30 Euston Square, the government announced its proposal for a Euston to Birmingham high speed rail link. There is a possibility that this may affect the building should current proposals go ahead. However our and donors’ investments are protected and RCGP is proceeding with confidence.
What is HS2?
High Speed Two Limited ('HS2') is a company set up by the government to recommend the route for a new high speed rail link between London Euston, Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester, in the first instance. The government published its initial proposal in March 2010, followed by a public consultation around issues surrounding the proposed route, which closed in July 2011. In January 2012 the government announced it would be pressing ahead with its plans for HS2, but with revisions to the originally proposed route.
Will this affect 30 Euston Square?
The proposed route was published shortly after RCGP acquired 30 Euston Road in March 2010. The proposal included a full scale redevelopment of Euston station.
Following the public consultation, the government confirmed that the new route will begin at Euston Station and that an extensive rebuilding of Euston Station to accommodate several new platforms will be necessary.
This means that should the current HS2 plans for Euston Station go ahead there may be an impact on our property as the current proposed footprint intended to enhance the station does include part of 30 Euston Square.
A realignment of the proposed footprint for the new Euston Station, however, would place 30 Euston Square immediately adjacent to one of the most important national and international transport hubs, making 30 Euston Square one of the most accessible and highly valued properties in London.
How likely is it that HS2 will adversely affect 30 Euston Square?
RCGP has taken detailed expert advice with regard to HS2 and any possible threat to 30 Euston Square. Our entire property is Grade II* listed and RCGP has been quick to ensure that both HS2 and the Department of Transport are fully aware of this recognition of its status as a particularly important building. The government has already stated that no property of this grade will be at threat from HS2, and we believe they are keen to work with us to find a solution.
Acquiring just the one section affected by the currently proposed expansion of Euston station is not an option, so a ‘worst case scenario’ is that the whole 121,000 square foot property may be subject to a compulsory purchase order. The cost to HS2 of acquiring the whole of 30 Euston Square will be very substantial and in light of the Comprehensive Spending Review and already strong opposition to the project on cost grounds, HS2 and the government will be under severe pressure to avoid such a large additional cost. This strengthens the argument to revise the Euston development plans and find a means of excluding the whole of our property from the currently proposed station footprint.
What is RCGP doing?
RCGP is proceeding confidently with the redevelopment and refurbishment of 30 Euston Square and with the capital appeal to raise vital funds towards the project. No works on Euston Station are likely to commence before mid 2018 at the earliest, and given the experiences of Cross Rail and the Channel Tunnel probably much beyond that date. Long before then the refurbishment will have been completed, and RCGP will be enjoying full use and occupation of its new headquarters.
RCGP continues to be in dialogue with HS2, relevant government departments, stakeholder and other interested groups, as well as taking any necessary advice to safeguard its position and investment.
Is my donation to the capital appeal secure?
Please rest assured that RCGP has taken detailed expert advice and will continue to take all necessary steps to protect RCGP’s investment and to ensure the preservation of any naming rights.
In the unlikely ‘worst-case-scenario’ of the compulsory purchase of 30 Euston Square, RCGP will establish an equivalent headquarters. It is envisaged that the donors to the capital appeal for 30 Euston Square would be acknowledged in similar terms in any new building.
If, due to the success of the appeal or for other unforeseen reasons there are surplus funds left over which cannot be spent on the redevelopment, we will let you know that this is the case (by writing to you at your last known address) and will use your donation on another project which furthers RCGP’s the work.