‘Six days to save Woolwich Crossrail’

According to today’s Financial Times, bureaucracy is threatening the planned Crossrail station at Woolwich, with Berkeley Homes – the company behind the Royal Arsenal development which is building the station – warning that if it doesn’t start work on the site in six days, the project is doomed.

Officials from the Department for Transport and Transport for London are yet to sign off on the project at Woolwich, which was scheduled to open in 2018, and are instead creating what developers are calling a bureaucratic blockade.

“We’ve been working on this project for four years and we’ve been sitting on the start line since September,” said Rob Perrins, chief executive of Berkeley Group, the construction company, which is developing the new station..

“It’s very frustrating, as this piece of much-needed infrastructure is getting bogged down in a mire of red tape and bureaucracy and we simply won’t be able to build it unless we can start by the beginning of February,” Mr Perrins added.

Berkeley Homes – which is also redeveloping Kidbrooke’s Ferrier Estate – struck a deal with Greenwich Council to fund building the shell of the station if it reduced the “affordable housing” element of the Royal Arsenal from 35% to 25%. In return, Greenwich Council would fund the fitting out of the station, seen as vital if plans to regenerate run-down Woolwich are to succeed.

The government said the issue would be resolved “shortly”.

(Thanks to Brockley Central for the spot.)

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