Having noted the clear concern of the Residents’ Association over the apparent threat to the Cremorne and World’s End Estates from a proposed Crossrail 2 station off the west end of the King’s Road in Chelsea, we move to this month’s Transport for London (TfL) consultation on station options in the area, which, ominously, uses very similar language to the notices posted across the estates.
Feeding in to the TfL consultation has been a separate Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC) consultation from last year on residents’ views of the scheme. As can be seen from the map included here, a “buffer” of 500 metres around the initially suggested site near Chelsea fire station was drawn, the clear suggestion being that the station would not be located outside this area.
World's End Estate, with Cremorne Estate to top right of photo. The "southern entrance" to the proposed Chelsea West station would be at the lower right
However, and it is a rather significant however, the TfL document now contains an option called “Chelsea West”, which is not merely 500 metres away from the area around the fire station, but twice as far away. Chelsea West has been added during the past year: it was not part of the Crossrail 2 proposals in 2013. TfL has helpfully included maps to help us see the area where it is intended to be sited.
RBKC map with 500 metre "buffer" shown
Remember also the wording on the notices posted on the estates: “at the request of RBKC Leader Councillor Nick Paget-Brown, TfL has considered some sites further west ... TfL will therefore consult on a station within the Cremorne Estate. This would include two entrances: a northern entrance onto King’s Road and a second entrance located immediately to the east of Cremorne Gardens”.
TfL map showing Chelsea West option - which has been added during the past year
Now look at the Chelsea West location on TfL’s map: the station entrance on the King’s Road would indeed be “within the Cremorne Estate”, and the entrance “immediately to the east of Cremorne Gardens” immediately south of World’s End. Now note the wording on the notices posted on the estates: “the size of the surface level worksites that would be required”. Back to the TfL document.
TfL detail of Chelsea West site - note entrances described as "King's Road and Cheyne Walk"
“The Chelsea West option would require additional land for a station between King’s Road and the River Thames ... and could only proceed in parallel with plans for wider regeneration and redevelopment of the area”. What is standing on that land right now? The Cremorne and World’s End estates. And this proposal has been added to the Crossrail 2 consultation only in the past year.
Then it has been publicised only at the beginning of this month, with that consultation to finish before the end of July. There are questions that need to be answered here, from the input of Paget-Brown and his colleagues, to any encouragement being given by the Mayor, to where any displaced residents will be relocated, and who may be the property developer lined up to benefit from it all.
Someone must be called to account, and give the answers. More soon.