Vital upgrades to Gatwick Airport’s railway station have yet to be fully approved by Crawley Borough Council planning committee despite its unanimous support for the improvements.
The council claims that it cannot approve the work because Network Rail has yet to demonstrate that upgrade plans comply with the council’s policy on direct energy networks and associated infrastructure.
Aside from that the committee said it is unanimous in its support for the application.
Eventual approval of the application would see the a first-floor concourse and entrance area built above platforms 5,6 and 7 of the existing station. In addition, it is proposed that platforms 5 and 6 will be widened while new lifts and escalators are fitted to platforms 3-7.
The new concourse will have a curved roof, while canopies would also be erected over platforms 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7. Land east of the railway line is to be changed to include a two-storey “back of house building”, which would mean a public footpath would have to be diverted.
A scheme to upgrade the station was first proposed in 2014 but was scrapped when it later came in over the preliminary budget. Construction of that scheme had been due to take place between 2017 and 2020.
Developments concerning the latest application to upgrade the railway have come after Gatwick Airport last year announced it was ramping up efforts to increase its capacity with plans to spend £1.1bn over five years. Along with existing funding, the airport said it had more than £3bn to help boost its capacity with projects such as its Pier 6 extension, which Bechtel is engineering. Amey, Jacobs, Ramboll, RPS and WSP are all part of the airport’s five-year consultancy framework.
Work to upgrade Gatwick Airport’s railway station is expected to begin this year and be completed in 2022.
At present, the station serves 19M passengers a year, 7.5M more than 20 years ago. The proposals to upgrade it are expected to accommodate forecast rail growth up to 2036.
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