Crossrail gets the go-ahead for Farringdon offices

Crossrail gets the go-ahead for Farringdon officesNew development opposite Smithfield Market will bring 120,000 square feet to the City office market.

Crossrail now has planning consent for 10 over site developments that will pave the way for new jobs and boost local growth.

Crossrail has gained planning approval for a new office development above Farringdon Crossrail station, following an appeal decision by the Planning Inspectorate.

Sitting above the station’s eastern ticket hall in Lindsey Street, the ground floor plus five storey scheme designed by PLP Architecture, will offer 120,000 square feet of high-quality, column-free office space with a large reception and retail units.

Crossrail will now consider development options for the scheme. Construction could begin in 2017 once major work on Farringdon Crossrail station is complete.

Ian Lindsay, Land & Property Director at Crossrail said: “The Lindsey Street scheme is part of Crossrail’s plan to bring over 3 million square feet of new, high-quality office, retail and residential space to central London, and reinvest every pound made back into the project.”

The Lindsey Street scheme is one of two Crossrail developments planned above Farringdon station. Crossrail also has planning permission for the 187,000 square feet Cardinal House office scheme, located above Crossrail’s western ticket hall on the corner of Cowcross Street and Farringdon Road.

Construction of new station at Abbey Wood gets underway

Construction of new station at Abbey Wood gets underwayNetwork Rail has begun work to build the new station at Abbey Wood as part of the Crossrail programme that will create new constuction jobs.

The first of more than 100 piled foundations which will support the new station have been installed. The piling will continue until the end of the year, when the building will start to become visible above ground.

The station, which will be built over two new dedicated Crossrail tracks and those used by North Kent services, will open at the end of 2017.

Work has been underway in Abbey Wood since 2013 and has included the construction of an interim station, the demolition of the old station and the installation of a new one mile section of track.

Matthew White, Crossrail Surface Director said: “Crossrail will help to transform Abbey Wood, dramatically improving transport links and bringing a state-of the-art station.

A train every five minutes at peak times will make it quicker and easier to get to a range of destinations across London and the South East.”

Matthew Steele, Crossrail Programme Director at Network Rail said: “It’s great news that the construction of the new station is underway. As part of our railway upgrade plan, we are on schedule to provide people in Abbey Wood with a fantastic new station by the end of 2017.

Local people will benefit from a spacious new ticket hall, step-free access to every platform and better access to local bus services.”

First new Crossrail tracks laid in South East London

First new Crossrail tracks laid in South East LondonWork to install a new two-mile section of track between the Crossrail tunnel portal at Plumstead and Abbey Wood station is now underway.

More than a mile of new track has been laid by Network Rail so far, representing the first section of dedicated Crossrail track to be installed anywhere along the route.

Work has included the re-alignment of the existing North Kent line, which serves trains between London and Kent, and the replacement of the Church Manor Way footbridge.

Ahead of Crossrail services beginning in 2018, the tracks will now be used to support the fit-out of the new tunnels to create a fully functioning railway beneath the streets of London.

Matthew White, Crossrail Surface Director said: “Crossrail will help to transform Abbey Wood, providing a step change in public transport and encouraging investment and development in the local area.

At peak time, 12 Crossrail trains an hour will make it significantly quicker and easier to get to range of destinations across London and the South East.”

Matthew Steele, Crossrail Programme Director at Network Rail, said: “Completing this section of track on time is important because it means that Crossrail can get on with the job of fitting out the new tunnels.

Once fully open in 2018, the new tracks will link Abbey Wood to the rest of London like never before, providing local people with a dramatically improved rail service.”

Crossrail represents the single biggest addition to the local rail network since the North Kent line was built in 1849. From 2018, a train every five minutes during the peak will allow residents to travel right through the capital without having to change trains.

The journey from Abbey Wood to Canary Wharf and Bond Street will be around 20 minutes quicker and passengers travelling to Heathrow will be able to cut around 40 minutes off their journey.

Lovell to build new affordable homes

Lovell to build new affordable homesBuilding work is set to start on a £2.2 million development at Window Lane and Island Road South in Garston that will see the building of new affordable homes.

The new homes are set to be completed in March 2016, supported by funding from the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) that will boost the trades.

The scheme, designed by John McCall Arichtects, will transform vacant brownfield sites by creating 11 two-bedroom houses at Window Lane and 12 two-bedroom houses at Island Road South, all for affordable rent.

Lovell regional director Nigel Yates said: “We’re delighted to be continuing our strong working partnership with South Liverpool Homes and excited to be starting construction on this important scheme which will help answer the demand for high-quality new homes for rent locally, providing modern and attractive properties within easy reach of Liverpool South Parkway and only about five miles from Liverpool city centre.”

South Liverpool Homes deputy chief executive Wayne Gales said: “This exciting development is great news for the local community. It will provide much needed homes for people on our waiting list as well as existing tenants who want to downsize.

The homes will be built to a high standard of both design and environmental sustainability, making them cost effective to run and maintain.”

The contract awarding the scheme to Lovell was negotiated following Lovell’s successful delivery of the Church Fields housing development at Garston under the Bridge which created homes for sale by Lovell and 91 houses and apartments for South Liverpool Homes.

Crossrail works set to start at Shenfield and Brentwood

Crossrail works set to start at Shenfield and BrentwoodNetwork Rail is set to begin work for the Crossrail programme at Brentwood and Shenfield stations that will create new jobs and boost the trades.

Network Rail will gain access to the railway embankment behind Friars Avenue and begin preparatory work. Starting around Monday 9 February, de-vegetation will begin to clear land for a new platform at the station and to strengthen the embankment.

The clearance is expected to last around three weeks and will be kept to an absolute minimum. Letters have been sent to all the nearby properties and representatives from Network Rail have visited residents to make sure that they know about the works.

Network Rail is in contact with residents to see whether additional trees can be planted at 1a to 25 Friars Avenue to mitigate the impact of tree removal along the railway.

To keep disruption for residents to a minimum, the majority of the work will take place during week days. However, a small amount of vegetation close to the overhead power lines can only be removed when trains are not running, so will be taken out over the weekend.

All work must take place within the acceptable noise limits set out as part of the Crossrail Act and a number of measures will be taken to ensure that any noise is kept to a minimum.

It is expected that no more than two lorries a day will be required for the de-vegetation works. Traffic marshals will co-ordinate all traffic and pedestrian movements and clear signage will be installed for lorries, cars and pedestrians. Lorries will enter Friars Avenue car park via Hutton Road and Friars Avenue.

The Leader of Brentwood Borough Council, Councillor Barry Aspinell, said: “We have been working hard with the Crossrail Team to make sure that any inconvenience to local residents and traders is kept to an absolute bare minimum.

Although the Crossrail Act does mean we have a limited role, we have been very proactive at sharing our local knowledge and experience with Crossrail and the other organisations involved to address key issues that concern our residents and businesses.”

Matthew White, Surface Director at Crossrail said: “Network Rail and its contractors will be taking all possible measures to make sure that any disruption to local people will be kept to an absolute minimum during the works at Shenfield and Brentwood.

Crossrail will transform rail services for local people providing new rolling stock, more frequent and reliable services and the ability to travel right through central London without having to change trains.”

Government and industry creating growth for the UK

Government and industry creating pipeline of growth for the UKSkills Minister Nick Boles has announced £1.1 million of government funding to match £1.7 million of industry investment to help create a legacy of engineering jobs and skills from major projects.

The project brings together industry leaders, including Crossrail-linked employers, working on major tunnelling and underground construction projects. It follows a successful bid from the group for funding through the government’s Employer Ownership Pilot.

Skills Minister Nick Boles said: “Our investment in major infrastructure projects has established the UK as a world-leader in tunnelling and underground construction.

Crossrail alone is supporting in the region of 55,000 jobs and with other major projects planned we want to go even further, to create a jobs legacy for future generations and give the industry the skills it needs to dig deeper and further.”

This project will create a new industry partnership involving tunnelling and underground construction employers, to generate lasting benefits for current and future engineers.

Part of the partnership’s work will see the creation of a new Industry Advisory Panel (IAP), representing all Crossrail-linked employers and future large tunnelling employers, working together to identify ways to grow the industry.

Terry Morgan, Crossrail Chairman said: The volume of tunnelling and underground construction work taking place in the UK over the next decade is unprecedented.

Crossrail, in partnership with its principal contractors, has delivered the most significant injection of new skills in a generation. It is essential that we continue to grow the industry’s talent base to ensure Britain remains at the forefront of major infrastructure delivery.”

More than £460 billion of public and private investment will be made into the UK’s economic infrastructure by 2020.

Crossrail gains planning consent for new homes

Crossrail gains planning consent for new homesCrossrail has received the go-ahead from the Royal Borough of Greenwich to build nearly 400 new homes above the new Woolwich Crossrail station.

The major new residential development will consist of approximately 490,000 sq ft in five high quality buildings of varying heights landscaped gardens.

The Armourer’s Court design by architects TP Bennett was reviewed by Design Council CABE and created in consultation with the local community, Royal Borough of Greenwich, Greater London Authority and English Heritage.

It draws upon the heritage of the nearby Royal Arsenal buildings, with brick, metal and glass façades.

Crossrail will market the Armourer’s Court site to potential development partners in the coming year and aims to commence construction once the station has been completed in 2018.

It is part of Crossrail’s strategy to develop three million sq ft of new commercial and residential space above stations, returning funds to the Crossrail budget and regenerating urban areas all along the line.

At the same meeting, Greenwich Council also granted consent for the external appearance of the Woolwich Crossrail station.

Ian Lindsay, Crossrail’s Land and Property Director said: “The successful development of this site will be another major step forward in the regeneration of Woolwich. This is part of our ongoing efforts to breathe new life into areas above and around our new stations. Crossrail is helping to boost the supply of new homes across the capital.”

The Woolwich area has enjoyed a renaissance thanks to the opening of Woolwich Arsenal DLR terminus in 2009, improvement of public areas and the impending arrival of Crossrail. Since 2008 there have been 13 planning applications within a kilometre of Woolwich Crossrail station, equating to 4,286 new homes, over 70,000 sq ft of new office space and 114,000 sq ft of new retail space.