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Residents invited to event to discuss HS2 plans for Kilburn

PUBLISHED: 06:45 29 September 2015 | UPDATED: 10:09 30 September 2015

Protest builds outside St Mary's Catholic Primary School in Canterbury Road to stop HS2 shaft being moved next to it       Pic credit: Angela Blake

Protest builds outside St Mary's Catholic Primary School in Canterbury Road to stop HS2 shaft being moved next to it Pic credit: Angela Blake

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Residents in South Kilburn fighting plans to have a controversial HS2 shaft built near a primary school are invited to an event to discuss the plans.

HS2 has announced a joint event with Brent Council to discuss moving a proposed shaft from Salusbury Road in Queens Park, to Canterbury Works.

The change in proposals will see a tunnel built beneath Kilburn causing disruption to nearby St Mary’s Catholic Primary School in Canterbury Road.

In May, parents and staff held a protest outside the school to force Brent Council to look at the impact of the disruption if the proposal to build a 40 metre deep shaft alongside it goes ahead.

HS2, the government body in charge of the controversial multibillion pound train line which will shave 30 minutes off a journey from London to Birmingham, initially allocated its giant ventilation shaft in a car park in Salusbury Road.

The proposed shaft will be 40 metres deep, 30 metres wide and 10 metres high and will take two years to dig out and four years to build.

Resident Mike Kyte said he would be attending the event. He added: “It is the effect on the school next door which is the biggest issue. It has been proven that disruption at early stages of learning significantly effect prospects later in life.

“The noise and air pollution will be huge for the local community and the school. This coupled with the impracticality of moving the vent shaft to this location due to the Bakerloo line makes it nonsensical to move the vent shaft to Canterbury Works. It is also strange to me that the board of governors and the head teacher of the school (owned by Brent) have all been replaced by Brent employees since they voiced their concerns publicly over the relocation of the shaft. Brent don’t care about people, they just care about the money to be made from their development site.”

The new proposal for the site of the vent shaft will be submitted to Parliament at a later date giving opponents the opportunity to petition against it.

Patricia Thompson, HS2 Ltd senior engagement manager, said: “We feel it is vitally important to talk directly with local communities to explain the plans for Britain’s new high speed rail network. Though trains will run in a tunnel all the way under Brent, we still need to build a series of ventilation shafts, one of which is to be located within the Brent borough boundary. These events will give people a chance to find out more about the reasons for the relocation from the original site and the construction at the new site.”

Councillor Margaret McLennan, lead member for regeneration and housing at Brent Council, said:

“We welcome the decision by HS2 to accept Canterbury Works as a more suitable site for the proposed works, in response to the petition we submitted to them last year. It means that much needed new and affordable homes in the South Kilburn regeneration area can still be delivered.

“We know that some local residents will have concerns about what this will mean for the area and so we will be holding two information-sharing events for local people to find out more information and ask questions. Representatives from the council and HS2 will be on hand to explain the proposals and address any concerns that people may have.The two events take place on October 8 and October 12 at South Kilburn Studios, 2A Canterbury Road, from 3pm - 8pm.

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