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Friday, 18 July 2014

Council supports Crossrail 2 station at Chelsea Fire Station

Residents and Residents Associations have started receiving electronic copies of a letter from Councillor Timothy Coleridge (Cabinet Member for Planning Policy, Transport and Arts). 

The letter states that: 

"The Council is backing Chelsea Fire Station as the right place for a Crossrail 2 station". 

and that: 

"On balance therefore we have concluded that the fire station site is the better option for Chelsea and we will shortly be telling TfL so in our own submission to the current consultation."

Chelsea Fire station is the station identified as "Kings Road" during TfL's consultation, not the station identified as "Chelsea West"; which is actually the site of the Cremorne Estate.

We have been advised that a Key Decision has been prepared along these lines and that a formal response to the TfL consultation has already been drafted. The Council's response clearly identifies the originally safeguarded site - Chelsea Fire Station - as the Council's preferred option. 

Notably the Council appears to have accepted the argument that constructing a Crossrail 2 station on the Cremorne Estate would be massively disruptive and damaging and bring far fewer economic benefits to the area:.

"... the economic benefits, particularly for our retail sector, would be much smaller. And there is just too much uncertainty at present about the impact on Council tenants and leaseholders. Major redevelopment of council homes would only ever be countenanced by Kensington and Chelsea when supported by cast-iron guarantees about how residents’ interests would be protected and indeed enhanced."

We are currently discussing these latest developments with our MP, Greg Hands. 

We are cautiously optimistic that the Council has finally come to accept the simple truth that the damage a station on the site of the Cremorne Estate would cause to the local community - the residents of the estate, its neighbours and local businesses - far outweigh any benefits it might bring, whilst the opposite is clearly the case at the originally safeguarded site at Chelsea Fire Station. 

We remain vigilant and will be keeping a close eye on further developments. We will also pursue all of our pending lines of inquiry with the Council, TfL and other parties to their eventual conclusion and aim to keep everyone up to date on what happens next. 

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