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Crossrail (Woolwich Station)

Volume 523: debated on Wednesday 16 February 2011

I am pleased to inform the House today of a positive conclusion to discussions with Berkeley Homes on the funding of Woolwich station box.

In 2007, an initial agreement was reached between Crossrail Ltd, the Department for Transport, Transport for London and Berkeley Homes. This agreement stated that Berkeley Homes would build the basic box structure of a station at Woolwich and subsequently construct their own extensive mixed-use development above it. This would be done at Berkeley Homes’ cost and risk, to the specification laid down by Crossrail Ltd, in a way that ensured that the Woolwich station box did not add to the current cost of Crossrail. This agreement was outlined to Parliament by the then Secretary of State for Transport in March 2007.

The Department for Transport, Crossrail Limited, Transport for London, and Berkeley Homes, have in recent months been working urgently to turn this initial agreement into a final, legally binding, agreement.

I am therefore pleased to inform the House today that a final agreement has now been reached by all parties. This means that engineering work on Woolwich station box can now proceed and the benefit of Crossrail investment can be secured for the residents of Woolwich.

In due course, fit-out of the Woolwich station box would be required to bring it to operational status. The Government are 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.

I shall update the House as and when progress is made in relation to the private sector funding of the station fit-out.