Woolwich Crossrail station

Woolwich is a step closer to getting on the Crossrail map, as Greenwich Council and Berkeley Homes have now pencilled in a deal on how its station will be paid for.

Transport for London’s board will consider the deal at a meeting this Thursday. Crossrail, due to begin service in 2018, will link Maidenhead and Heathrow Airport in the west with Paddington, the West End, the City, Canary Wharf and Abbey Wood.

Berkeley Homes has already paid £25m for the station box – essentially, the hole in the ground – to be built.

But even though the box was completed in February, a deal between Greenwich, Berkeley Homes, TfL and the Government to find the £100m needed to fit out the the station hadn’t been. Neither TfL nor the Government were willing to add to the costs of Crossrail, while Berkeley had been reluctant to pay any more towards the station, despite the huge profits it is likely to make out of its Royal Arsenal development.

Now TfL board papers reveal:

“Following extensive negotiations a package for the overall capital cost of the works has now been agreed in principle.

“This sees significant contributions from the Royal Borough of Greenwich and Berkeley Homes, supplementing existing TfL and CRL budgets, to meet the overall capital cost of the works.

“The detailed terms of funding agreements with these parties are currently being finalised and are expected to be concluded by the end of June 2013.”

The outline deal follows Greenwich Council granting Berkeley planning permission for 21-storey tower blocks in the Royal Arsenal last month, while its chairman Tony Pidgeley recently joined Boris Johnson on a trip to the Middle East.

The details are currently confidential, and it remains to be seen how Greenwich will raise the funds to pay for its contribution.

With the four-year-old DLR extension to Woolwich nearly overwhelmed by demand, the council will rightly see the deal as a triumph – originally the Crossrail link was to pass under Woolwich without stopping, until lobbying from leader Chris Roberts and MP Nick Raynsford forced a rethink.

But as always, the devil’s in the detail. While Greenwich is sitting on large cash reserves, it is believed the council is unwilling to use those to pay for the station, which could lead to other parts of the borough losing out so Woolwich can gain. Watch this space…

(Thanks to the anonymous tipster who alerted me to this story.)

11 replies on “Woolwich set to get its Crossrail station after all”

  1. Given the recent permission for Berkeley to expand the RA development I’d have been shocked if this had fallen through. Good news – if it gets fully approved!

  2. Reassuring news – I’m sure we all look forward to full details of these funding proposals.

    Cllr Hyland did tell me a few months ago, in repsonse to a public question at a full Council meeting, that she was “chipper” about this going ahead without being a burden on Greenwich taxpayers.

    I wonder how much the “significant contribution” is, and how it is going to be funded locally.

  3. The TfL board paper begins by stating that: “Changes to the Crossrail Sponsors Requirements of a value greater than £50M and the approval of agreements associated with the fit-out of Woolwich station
    are matters reserved to the Board.” Presumably this indicates that over £50m of the funding for the £75m fit-out is to come from TfL and the DfT (these are the only two “Sponsors”). I’m just glad that the station is going ahead but that would seem like quite a victory for Berkeley and the Council.

  4. I’ve just taken another look at the board paper – TfL and the DfT are together putting up £70m (“Present Value of Costs”). The Council and Berkeley must be making up the balance. I’ve seen £75m quoted as the cost of the fit-out elsewhere but assuming your figure is more accurate that means Berkeley and the Council are stumping up £30m between them.

  5. Interesting if the DfT are putting in cash for this. The original act of Parliament which approved the Woolwich Crossrail station makes it clear that no central, public-sector funding is available for the fit-out.

    Philip Hammond confirmed the current government took the same view in 2011 when he said, “Government is clear that, in line with the 2007 agreement, no additional public sector contribution can be made available to fund the fit-out of the station box. Instead, the fit-out is conditional on receiving sufficient funding contributions from developers and businesses operating in the area. Berkeley Homes has an obligation to enter into discussions with Department for Transport, Transport for London, Crossrail Ltd and Greenwich Council, in order to provide for the subsequent fitting-out of the station box. All parties, including Berkeley Homes, have made clear that they understand and support this position.”

    Something appears to have changed b ut we should wait until we hear an official announcement.

  6. Wouldn’t describe this as the rest of the borough missing out, as more of Woolwich finally getting what it needs, and the effects of the station will be felt in Charlton, Plumstead, and parts of Eltham

  7. Echoing Plumstead Resident.

    Good news.

    No doubt the RA expansion was key as stated Rob Perrins on the Crossrail site.

    At the site itself the elevators shafts are already looming over everything nearby. It is going to be a collesal when complete.

  8. “… which could lead to other parts of the borough losing out so Woolwich can gain.”

    Whilst I completely understand it would be frustrating if funds weren’t available for other projects ’cause of the money spent on Crossrail, Woolwich has been neglected for years and is finally getting some well-deserved TLC! And after today’s terrible events, it’s going to need a major image boost……..

  9. Woolwich has had an extraordinary bad deal compared to the rest of the borough in recent years, and it shows. Greenwich and Eltham have done better when it could be argued the need for investment is a lot less, so if the balance of spending in the rest of the borough drops, and Crossrail and the housing improvements happen in SE18, then its good news.

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