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Sunday, 29 November 2015

New Crossrail 2 Consultation

Transport for London are conducting another consultation on Crossrail 2.

The question relevant to Kings Road / Chelsea is question 20.

The consultation is available online here:

https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/crossrail2/october2015/consultation

The consultation closes on the 8th of January 2016.

There is still no indication as to precisely where on the Kings Road the station would be located.

TfL Feasibility Study

Transport for London carried out and published a feasibility study in October.

The results of the feasibility study are summarised in the table below:

Table 1a (click to zoom in) 

Table 1b (click to zoom in)

It is clear that the final site of the proposed station has yet to be determined.

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Comments in the Press

There are concerns with regard to the recent comments made in the press by those campaigning against the construction of a Crossrail 2 station on the site of Chelsea Fire Station.

From the London Weekly News:

"… residents spearheading the grassroots campaign accused the council of performing a “complete volte face” on previously-agreed plans for a site in West Chelsea near the Cremorne Estate and misleading residents for the sake of an “extravagant and wasteful scheme”."


Regret is being expressed that a station has not been built in West Chelsea near the Cremorne Estate.


Claims have also been made with regard to the Council's own consultation which are misleading:


"It was revealed that “only 32 per cent” of residents had backed the proposals for a station on the fire station site when consulted by the council, with the rest calling for no station at all or one in the west."


But our own analysis of the data collected by the Council during its own consultation exercise into Crossrail 2 carried out between May and August 2013 suggests that 59%, not 32%, supported the proposal to locate the station on the site of the Chelsea Fire Station.


The article from the London Weekly News can be downloaded here.


The article from Kensington, Chelsea and Westminster Today can be downloaded here.

New Plan for Crossrail brings back the Dame's Wartime Memories

An article recently appeared on the Hornet in relation to a new potential site for the Crossrail 2 station in Chelsea:

Following on from last week's rather interesting meeting of the "No Crossrail in Chelsea" campaign at Chelsea Old Town Hall the Dame's spies tell her that nefarious activity is once again afoot.

Word has reached the Dame that some of those opposing the station are no longer suggesting that Chelsea doesn't need a station, merely that it should go elsewhere. Not in their back yard, someone else's. We have been here before.

They are telling anyone who'll listen that the station should be relocated to the site of the old Chelsea and Fulham railway station, between the Kings Road and Fulham Road, just south of Stamford Bridge.

Being a bit of an old wartime bird the Dame does recall the old Chelsea and Fulham railway station. Nice as it was it was closed after being bombed in the war and never reopened.

Now the Dame doesn't know much about trains but those who do don't seem to think that this a particularly good idea.

The site is apparently too far to the west. TfL has previously rejected suggestions to locate the Crossrail 2 station near Imperial Wharf, claiming the route from Clapham to Victoria would then be too long and the curve of the line too great. A proposal where the line would end up even longer and the curve even greater would appear to have no legs.

And the old Chelsea and Fulham station was built upon long ago. 




There is Council housing to the west of the railway line, the Wandon Estate in Wandon Road, and a private development to the east, the Kings development at 552 Kings Road.

Given last summer's events any proposal that results in the loss of homes is risky at best, foolish at worst. It is only a matter of time before accusations of social cleansing and shipping people to Dagenham start to fly.

The Dame's spies are baffled as to why those who oppose the station don't stick to opposing the station, exactly as they had proposed at their meeting. That, at least, is a plan that all of Chelsea's residents might be convinced to support. Sneakily trying to stick it in someone else's back yard (again) isn't. 


The original story is at: http://fromthehornetsnest.blogspot.co.uk/2015/06/new-plan-for-crossrail-brings-back.html

The story had attracted over 140 comments at the time of writing. 

A second story has since appeared on the Hornet: "Crossrail 2 ... the last word".

Saturday, 6 June 2015

Our campaign

We attended the meeting on Tuesday evening at Chelsea Old Town Hall organised by those objecting to the proposed construction of the station on the site of Chelsea Fire Station.

We listened to what the panel said. We were concerned by the opening comments made by some members of the panel. We believe some of the statements made were misleading and erroneous.

It was claimed that people on the Cremorne Estate voted tactically to locate the station at the Fire Station.

We did not vote tactically. We did not instruct anyone to vote to locate the station at the site of the Fire Station.

We do not wish to be misrepresented.

Our only objective was to save our homes and local community.

We came together from all political persuasions and social backgrounds. Most of us were born in Chelsea, and are from Lots Road, Ten Acres, World's End, Cheyne Walk, the Cremorne Estate, the King's Road and elsewhere.

All residents have a legitimate right to express their concerns with regards to any development that affects their local area, including the proposals for the Fire Station.

It is not acceptable to suggest that the proposed station be moved back to "Chelsea West", thereby destroying hundreds of homes, dozens of businesses and displacing thousands of residents, many of whom were born in Chelsea and have lived here all their lives.

Saturday, 30 May 2015

Alarm at comments by Chelsea Fire Station protestors

It has come to our attention that a group has been formed to protest against TfL's current proposals to locate the station on the King's Road on the site of Chelsea Fire Station.

They have organised a public meeting and have spoken to the local paper. A story recently appeared on the front page of "Kensington and Chelsea News" on the 28th of May.

We are alarmed at the suggestion that the Crossrail 2 station should be located in West Chelsea. The TfL consultation correctly concluded that it was the most disruptive option and least supported by local residents.

Cllr. Tim Coleridge, Cabinet Member for Planning, quite rightly states that 500 homes would be demolished and that this was deemed unacceptable.

We were assured by our MP Greg Hands on the 8th December 2014 that: "the option for a station at "Chelsea West" has been definitively ruled out by both Kensington and Chelsea and Council and by Crossrail."

Monday, 22 December 2014

Confirmation from our MP


We are extremely grateful to our MP Mr. Greg Hands for his assistance in this matter.

Monday, 1 December 2014

Crossrail 2 consultation - the next stage

Transport for London (TfL) have just begun the next stage of consultation on its proposed Crossrail 2 service. 

The amended proposals no longer contain any mention of a Crossrail 2 station at "Chelsea West" but do contain a station on the Kings Road.

Full details of the amended proposals are available from the Crossrail 2 website:

http://crossrail2.co.uk/

The proposals have moved on to the stage where decisions are being made about the precise route and the location of stations. 

The Department for Transport (Dft) is consulting on the amended safeguarding proposals. The consultation page is available from:

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/crossrail-2-safeguarding-directions 

The scheme's safeguarding proposals, indicating the route that the underground tunnels will take and the land required to enable the construction of the stations, have been updated and are available from the DfT website. 

The Council have issued a press release with regards to the above. It is available here:

http://rbkc.gov.uk/parkingtransportandstreets/managingtraffic/consultations/crossrail2.aspx

Monday, 10 November 2014

The latest news from Greg Hands MP

Greg Hands MP's latest newsletter contains the following snippet of what appears to be very good news:

"Was briefed by senior officials at Transport for London on the next moves on Crossrail 2, and the future of a station in Chelsea. TfL confirmed that the “Chelsea West” option for the station is now excluded, and the station will come to Dovehouse Green on King’s Road, Chelsea, subject to further consultation."

It would appear that the Cremorne Estate ("Chelsea West") is no longer being considered as a potential site for a Crossrail 2 station. 

Greg Hands MP has been extremely helpful throughout. However we are awaiting final and definitive confirmation from Transport for London (TfL) due later this year.

BBC: London Crossrail 2 'preferred route' outlined by mayor

An article recently appeared on the BBC website describing the situation post-consultation. 

We're hopeful that this confirms that the Cremorne Estate is no longer being considered as a potential site for a Crossrail 2 station. Unfortunately we can't be 100% certain until Transport for London (TfL) publish full details of their preferred route later this year.

London Crossrail 2 'preferred route' outlined by mayor

A preferred route for a proposed £20bn Crossrail 2 scheme, running north-south through London, has been identified by mayor Boris Johnson.


The new "preferred route" for Crossrail 2

A second Crossrail scheme is vital to support the capital's growth, the mayor claimed.

If approved by the government, the line could be transporting up to 90,000 people into central London in the morning peak by 2030.

Crossrail 2 would run from Cheshunt in Hertfordshire to Epsom in Surrey.

It would pass through central London via places including Tottenham Court Road, Victoria, Chelsea and Clapham Junction.

If proposals are approved, construction could begin in 2017.

'Globally competitive'

Setting out the case for the line in a speech at the City Age conference, the mayor said: "With London's population soon to surpass its previous 1939 peak of 8.6 million and with more people travelling by Tube and rail than ever before, we need additional rail capacity to support future growth.

"For the capital to remain globally competitive, there needs to be continued investment in our transport network and that's why we have to get cracking on planning for Crossrail 2."

The scheme would complement the £14.8bn east-west Crossrail scheme, currently being built and scheduled to be operational by 2018.

Supporters say it will slash journey times across London, with a journey from Kingston, in south-west London, to Tottenham Court Road being completed in 29 minutes - 17 minutes faster than today.

Those travelling between Dalston, in north-east London and Tottenham Court Road would have an eight-minute journey - 19 minutes faster than today.

Mr Johnson said he was confident the private sector could, in the right circumstances, contribute to well over half the cost of Crossrail 2.

Opportunities for consultation

Labour Assembly Member Val Shawcross said the announcement of a preferred route was "a big step forward" but added: "What we need to see now is the fully worked-up funding package which will make this project a reality."

Despite broad support for a new rail link in Chelsea, it is one area where there is concern over the positioning of a new station.

Conservative MP for Chelsea and Fulham, Greg Hands, has said there was "a great deal of concern" from residents on Cremorne Estate, on the King's Road, that demolition of housing may be required if it is chosen for the location of the Chelsea West station.

The current proposed location for the station would be further east near the fire station on the King's Road and received the majority of support in this summer's consultation.

The consultation document says, over the course of 2015, there will be further work on the consideration and assessment of options and a number of opportunities for more detailed consultation.

The original article is here: 
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-29804467

Stakeholders

Further to our last post Transport for London (TfL) have provided the following clarification with regards to their use of the term "stakeholders" in their recently issued report on the Crossrail 2 consultation.

Thank you for your email regarding the Crossrail 2 consultation, I am sorry for the delay in responding.

Our term "stakeholder" is usually a public body such as local authority or residents group amongst others. We also refer to publicly elected members as "stakeholders". The reason we split the stakeholder replies from the public is that many members of the public are interested to see what their local members are saying so we publish the public and stakeholder replies.

There is no weight added to stakeholder replies during the consultation process. One view is treated the same as another. 


We're glad to see that TfL will be treating all views equally.

Monday, 3 November 2014

TfL Crossrail 2 report - the simple summary

Transport for London (TfL) published its report into the public consultation on its Crossrail 2 proposals last week. These were the proposals that included plans for a potential Crossrail 2 station at "Chelsea West", the site of the Cremorne Estate. 

You can download the TfL report in full from here: 
https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/crossrail/june-2014/user_uploads/crossrail-2-consultation-report-2014--published-.pdf

Having read those parts of the report of relevance to the proposals for a Crossrail 2 station in Chelsea we can summarise the key points as follows:

It may not have been obvious that they would do this at the time but TfL have split the survey in two: a survey of individuals and a survey of "stakeholders". It is unclear how stakeholders were identified, in particular as many local organisations were not formally contacted by TfL. There is some evidence to suggest that TfL split the survey in two by simply separating out the responses from individuals representing themselves from those of individuals claiming to represent organisations. 

In any case, the report indicates that 5,181 persons responded to the survey as individuals ("members of the public") and 99 responded on behalf of organisations ("stakeholders"). 

Not all respondents expressed an option on all of the proposals TfL consulted upon. In particular only 50 stakeholders voiced any opinion whatsoever with regards to the proposals for a Crossrail 2 station in Chelsea.

Of the 5,181 persons who responded to the survey, 973 (19%) claimed to live within the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. 

By TfL's own admission around 400 people attended each of the four consultation drop-in events held in Kensington and Chelsea (two at the Chelsea Theatre, two at Chelsea Old Town Hall). By way of contrast the equivalent events in Hackney attracted just 40 people each. 

With regards to a station in Chelsea those consulted were offered three different options from which to choose: (i) a station at Dovehouse Street (Chelsea Fire Station); (ii) a station at "Chelsea West" (effectively the site of the Cremorne Estate); and (iii) no station at all. 

The report indicates that the response was as follows:

In favour of the station at Dovehouse Street: 32% (1,673 respondents). 
In favour of the station at Chelsea West: 21% (1,113 respondents).
In favour of no station at all: 24% (1,222 respondents). 

Against the station at Dovehouse Street: 19% (993 respondents).

Against the station at Chelsea West: 26% (1,359 respondents).
Against no station at all: 27% (1,411 respondents).

TfL indicates that 50 "stakeholders" responded to the "Chelsea West" portion of the survey. They reponded as follows: 

In favour of the station at Dovehouse Street: 32% (16 respondents).
In favour of the station at Chelsea West: 38% (19 respondents).
In favour of no station at all: 24% (12 respondents).

Against the station at Dovehouse Street: 32% (16 respondents).

Against the station at Chelsea West: 24% (12 respondents).
Against no station at all: 32% (16 respondents).

Our opinions and thoughts on these results and what consequences they might have for the residents of the Cremorne Estate and those living nearby will follow shortly.

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

TfL publishes consultation results

TfL have posted their report on the results of the consultation carried out in June/July.

You can download the report from here:
https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/crossrail/june-2014/user_uploads/crossrail-2-consultation-report-2014--published-.pdf

We are currently going through the report and its appendices and will be posting our thoughts on the blog shortly.

Friday, 19 September 2014

London RTB tenants 'forced out' of city

An article was recently published on the BBC website describing the plight of Council leaseholders faced with "regeneration schemes".

London Right to Buy tenants 'forced out' of city
By Zack Adesina BBC Inside Out, London 

For developers, businesses and local authorities, regeneration can lead to big profits, but Inside Out London has discovered that for some homeowners, who bought under the Right to Buy scheme, it can lead to the loss of their homes.

All over London, dozens of ageing council estates, past their prime, are being demolished to make way for redevelopments.

It means that leaseholders who bought their homes on these sites under the Right to Buy scheme are being hit with Compulsory Purchase Orders and forced to move out.

Local authorities are legally bound to reimburse these homeowners but Inside Out has uncovered evidence that shows some are being pressured to accept sums that are below market value.

'Fair price'

Ten homeowners on the Aylesbury Estate in Southwark say the council has priced their properties at such low rates it will leave them financially ruined and force them out of the capital.

But when the leaseholders hired independent valuers they came up with figures far higher than the council's.

Beverley Robinson, who bought her home on the estate over a decade ago, claims the local authority valued her flat at £117,000 while two independent valuers priced it at about £300,000.

Ms Robinson said if she accepts the council's offer she will have no choice but to move out of the capital. 

"You can't buy a home in London for under £140,000 which means I will have to start again, finding a mortgage, and at my age that's not an option. I will be turned down by the banks," she said.

Agnes Kabuto, who lives on the same estate, said the council had offered her £145,000 for her three-bedroom home while similar-sized properties in the area were going for about £385,000.

She said swapping her rent account for a mortgage was a mistake. 

"I regret buying under Right to Buy. I worked hard to pay for this property. It was meant to be my nest egg for old age but now I feel like the council has robbed me of my home," she said.

But Southwark's Cabinet member for regeneration, Councillor Mark Williams, said leaseholders are being offered a fair price.

Legal action

He said: "We are doing everything we can to work with homeowners who are required to move out.

"They are being offered market values for their properties... plus 10% for the inconvenience of moving."

The council also claims leaseholders who wish to remain on the estate will be able to move into new homes under shared ownership or shared equity.

Several of the affected residents are now considering legal action against Southwark Council.

But Southwark is not the only London borough where a row has erupted over a regeneration estate.

Inside Out has discovered that homeowners in Hackney, Hendon and Lambeth are also challenging the compulsory purchase amounts being offered by their local authority. 

Peeved and disappointed of Chelsea

One of our neighbours recently wrote to the Hornet to express their displeasure at recent events:

Dear Dame, 

In light of recent articles on the Sutton Estate I thought your readers might appreciate an update on the other example of attempted "social engineering" in the heart of Chelsea. 

As your readers are no doubt aware those living in the western-most corner of Chelsea were treated to an "interesting" summer thanks to Council-inspired proposals to build a Crossrail 2 station on the site of the Cremorne estate. Proposals that would have resulted in the estate's demolition and the forced relocation of its residents. The locals - residents and neighbours of the estate alike - did not take particularly kindly to the proposals, on which they had never been properly consulted by the Council. They mobilised quickly and campaigned to generate a massive and unequivocal response to the TfL consultation then underway. Sadly it appears that the Council haven't taken particularly kindly to this turn of events. 

At a recent meeting of the Kings Road Association of Chelsea Residents those who campaigned against the proposals were referred to as "trolls, troublemakers and activists" by the Leader of the Council. You would have hoped such churlish comments would be beneath both the Council and the Leader, but sadly it appears not.

News of the proposals had originally leaked from within Kensington and Chelsea TMO, the company managing the Council's housing. This would not have been appreciated by the Council and the TMO now appears intent on making amends by crippling the estate's Residents Association. The TMO have written to the Association notifying it that all future communication must be made in writing through its complaints department and that any attempts to contact individual members of staff, including the housing officers and technical staff responsible for the estate, will simply be ignored. Members of staff have confirmed an edict from above to that effect: do not communicate with the Cremorne Estate Residents Association, force them to put everything in writing, cause delay, slow everything down, wear the residents out. An interesting stance for a supposedly "resident led" housing management company whose shareholders include many of the estate's residents!

All in all not what one would have hoped from either the Council or the TMO. Some might be inclined to suggest that it would be wiser for them all to sit down, ponder what happened and attempt to re-open the lines of communication but I fear that they have already taken a leaf out of the "Housing Association's Regeneration Handbook" (currently on loan to Affinity Sutton) and consider antagonising the locals further a more appropriate strategy. 

This is not behaviour befitting the Royal Borough. We are all being let down.

Peeved and disappointed of Chelsea