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No taxpayer rescue for Crossrail station

Backers of Crossrail’s Woolwich station were this week told there would be no government bailout to supplement any shortfall in private sector funding.

Speaking in a House of Commons debate on the future of the £15.9bn rail scheme, transport minister Theresa Villiers said the inclusion of a south east London station at Woolwich depended entirely on funding from its original supporter Berkeley Homes.

“I want to set this out very clearly. The private sector contribution was pivotal to the station getting the go-ahead”

Theresa Villiers

“I want to set this out very clearly. The private sector contribution was pivotal to the station getting the go-ahead,” she said.

“The government cannot offer additional taxpayers’ money over and above what has been agreed within the current funding programme to replace the shortfall in the private sector contribution that Berkeley Homes promised to provide,” said Villiers.

Berkeley Homes had promised to fund station box construction to the tune of £186M as well as developing the space around it. The plan involved a 291m long by 23.5m wide and 17m deep box and creating 2,500 homes. It has already spent £5M on the station design but has suffered badly in the recession and has since been attempting to negotiate the extent of its funding commitments with Crossrail.

Readers' comments (1)

  • Chris O'Hanlon

    It is important to ensure that developers pay a fair share of increased costs that their projects incur on the community. However, many non-Berkeley homes residents will use it. Presumably, the company made its original commitment some years ago, based on the profits it would make from the eventual sale of the houses. While the market may be slow at presnt, they will eventually sell the houses and having the Crossrail station will enable them to sell them at a premuim. Put another way, they cannot afford NOT to pay a share of the Crossrail station if not paying their share menas the station isn#t built! As for the government, not building the station would mean that it would never get built - a very short sighted decision!I would have thought that it should be possible from the developer to obtain a bridging loan from the banking sector to enable them to pay up their share now, and repay it when the houses are sold. By then, the house prices will probably have risen making repayment that much easier...

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