Wormwood Scrubs has been dealt a “shocking” blow as sections of the park have been bought by HS2.
Parts of the West London park will be shut to the public until 2024 as building works take place on the high speed rail line.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps gave permission for work to begin on the £1.6bn project for the Old Oak Common Station on June 23.
The move is a huge blow to nature lovers in the area who admire the park’s common lizards and the wide range of birds that visit the meadows.
READ MORE: HS2 building work at Old Oak Common sparks complaints from furious West London residents
(Image: Julia Gregory LDRS)
The council and trust will not be able to stop the purchase of the land due to the HS2 Act 2017 which allows the project to buy up land to complete the project before selling it back.
An area of woodlands neighbouring the station depot and a section of the park next to Old Oak Common Lane would both be used to help construct the HS2 project.
The rail project will take over the Stamford Brook sewer site from Thames Water if they can reach an agreement with the water company.
The Station is hoped to have 250,000 people pass through each day and it is hoped trains will be able to travel to Birmingham in just 31 minutes and to Manchester in an hour.
Old Oak Common Station will also serve Crossrail and other mainline routes once it has been built. HS2 says the construction work will support 2,300 jobs.
(Image: Grahame Larter)
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The project is set to become the UK’s largest station built in a single stage and will have six HS2 platforms taking passengers from London to the Midlands, Newcastle and Glasgow. The roof will be the size of at least three football pitches.
Chair of the Friends of Wormwood Scrubs Sir Stephen Waley-Cohen expressed his shock at HS2’s purchase of the land.
He said in a statement: “The only redeeming element is we were informed when they have finished work, they will be obliged to return the land to the Trust.
“LBHF are consulting specialist legal experts. We don’t know any more yet, but will share it as soon as we do.”
If the HS2 work goes to plan, sections of the park will be out of use until 2024. They will then be given back to the public until 2028 when more scheduled work will take place.