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Railtrack plans more joint air rights projects

RAILTRACK IS teaming up with property developers to build hundreds of millions of pounds worth of air rights developments above stations in major cities.

Next week Railtrack and developer Marylebone Warwick Balfour are expected to get final clearance to start work on a £20M redevelopment of Bromley South station in London.

The scheme includes a 15 screen multiplex cinema, retail and office space. It already has outline planning permission from Bromley Council and Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott.

The Bromley South project follows the start of work on the 55,740m2 Broadgate phase two development at Liverpool Street station, which Railtrack is developing with Land Securities.

Outline air rights schemes at Paddington, Clapham Junction and Gerrards Cross are also well advanced. In the longer term Railtrack is looking to build above Birmingham New Street, Edinburgh Waverley and London Bridge stations.

In recent redevelopment projects Railtrack has entered 50/50 partnerships with developers to spread risk. Before privatisation British Rail sold air rights to developers rather than taking part in the projects itself.

'Gone are the days when British Rail would identify a site and sell it to a developer. We can gain more for our core business, realise capital and manage construction risk better,' said a Railtrack spokesman.

Railtrack has teamed up with Bass Developments to pursue the multi-million pound Clapham Junction air rights scheme, which is likely to be the next development submitted for approval.

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