A new report suggests that development opportunities exist both in and beyond central London thanks to Crossrail—the new high frequency, high capacity railway for London and the South East—provided communities are ready to act on the project’s regeneration potential.
The report, commissioned by Future of London, a regeneration and housing network, looks at UK and overseas rail-and-regeneration examples, and involved stakeholder interviews as well as in-depth studies of six different stations along the route.
The report offers a 20-point “act now” checklist for boroughs and cross-sector partners who want to boost regeneration activity before Crossrail opens in 2018. It also provides eight recommendations to help future infrastructure projects deliver even greater London-wide regeneration benefits.
“This report enables local authorities to capitalise on the regeneration and development potential created by Crossrail,” said Katie Kerr, Senior Planner and report contributor at professional services firm Arup, which co-sponsored the research . “Every community along the route is different but sharing best practice is an effective way to ensure that local authorities can help their areas to become vibrant, productive and sustainable places to live. Initiatives don’t all have to be costly as small-scale changes can make a big impact but now is the time to act.”
As part of Crossrail, central London hubs such as Tottenham Court Road and Bond Street have already seen increased property values and development, partly thanks to Crossrail’s integration of high-specification station design, over-station development and urban realm, working with host boroughs, Transport for London and other partners.
However, the combination of land values, footfall, community interaction and well-resourced boroughs doesn’t yet exist in some of the places Crossrail will stop.
The report goes on to recommend that the legislative remit needs to be broadened, asserting that if regeneration is part of the business case for an infrastructure project, Parliament must provide the enabling powers—such as land acquisition—and funding structure to support that.