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Northern Line Tube extension faces inquiry

A four week public inquiry into the proposed construction of the Northern Line extension began last week.

Four consortiums have prequalified for London Underground’s (LU’s) £600M extension to Battersea and Nine Elms.

They are Balfour Beatty/Bam; Bechtel/Strabag; Costain/Murphy; and Laing O’Rourke/Ferrovial.

The extension is a 5.2m internal diameter twin bore tunnels running for 3.3km with stations at Battersea and Nine Elms.

The inquiry, ordered by transport secretary Patrick  McLoughlin, is part of the Transport and Works Act Order (TWAO) process, used to secure construction permission for major projects.

If planning powers are obtained from the government, and a funding package is in place, then construction of the Northern Line extension could begin in 2015 with the two new stations opening in 2020.

The government confirmed in the 2012 Autumn Statement that up to £1bn of borrowing would be available to the Greater London Authority (GLA) to finance the construction.

Funding to repay this borrowing will come from the private sector in the form of incremental business rate increases in a new Enterprise Zone in the London Boroughs of Wandsworth and Lambeth.

There will also be contributions from these two boroughs and from local developers under the Section 106 and Community Infrastructure Levy regimes.

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