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Camden Market: World's Coolest Street Market Threatened by HS2 Train Construction.

The future of world-famous Camden Market is under threat from HS2 development plans, a report has claimed.

Business leaders in the area have warned that the market could "permanently close" if the government's HS2 rail project goes ahead as planned.

The local economy could see losses of approximately [pounds sterling]631m while 9,000 jobs could be lost over a seven-year period from 2014 if plans to run HS2 from the Channel Tunnel and through Camden Town proceed, business group Camden Town Unlimited said.

BOP Consulting, which led the research and produced the report, said that Camden Market could face losses of [pounds sterling]91.8m alone.

Shutdowns spread over the next decade will drive tourists and traders away from the area having to compete with up-and-coming markets in East London.

"It's Camden Town's vibrant creative economy which attracts businesses, people and tourists to the area," said CTU chief executive Simon Pitkeathley.

"The economic impact of the current HS2 link could have a devastating effect on this, with huge job losses and a massive blow to the area's economy."

An alternative proposal to construct the link underground in order to minimise disruption has been offered and supported by both Camden Market and Transport for London but HS2 has said the idea is unworkable.

HS2 Ltd spokesman Ben Ruse countered: "It is simply not true that HS2 is set to close large parts of Camden's markets. We've never said this and we don't have any plans that suggest this.

"In fact, across Camden, we are working with a wide range of groups to ensure we can deliver the hundreds of homes and thousands of jobs we have promised."

The plan, which the owner of Camden Lock Market said would result in the town losing "some of the magic", would mean seven Camden bridges - including the famous Camden Lock bridge - would be brought down so tracks can be widened.

The complaints of Camden Town in light of the BOP report come before the parliamentary bill for the first stage of HS2 is submitted by the government next week.

The hybrid bill will allow anyone affected by the construction of the line to petition MPs directly for amendments to the plans.
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Publication:International Business Times - US ed.
Date:Nov 21, 2013
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