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Friday25 July 2014

Terry Farrell accuses authorities of failing to plan for Crossrail development

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Stations could become new town centres, architect tells London Assembly

Britain has no strategy for developing successful new urban centres around Crossrail’s stations, Terry Farrell warned the London Assembly this week.

The new and rejuvenated stations will attract development and have the potential to create new town centres, he said, citing London Bridge and Canary Wharf as examples.

Canary Wharf Crossrail Oversite Development

Canary Wharf Crossrail designed by Foster&Partners - Oversite Development

But this is not being guided by any strategy because Britain has a reactive approach to planning, he told a London Assembly inquiry into the future of town centres.

“It’s hit and miss,” he said. “We are still not planning for the implications of Crossrail. Proactive planning is not what we do in this country.

“When it does work is when the private sector owns a lot of the land around the station – for example, Broadgate, Kings Cross, Paddington. But that doesn’t always lead to a successful town centre. Paddington still lacks the quality of being a town centre, whereas Kings Cross has worked.”

He said Crossrail and High Speed 2 would strengthen existing town centres and have the potential to create new ones at places like Old Oak Common in west London, where Farrell is already working.

“You ignore the potential of transport at one’s peril,” he said.

Other countries, such as Hong Kong where the transport authority controls the stations and the land around them, take a far more strategic approach, he added.

Shopping centres like Westfield and Bluewater were examples of how single private-sector developers were often more successful than the public sector at creating new places, he said.

This was not a sinister modern trend, he said: Marylebone High Street was a success because it had largely been in single ownership since the 18th century.

“Masterplanning from the public sector’s point of view has not been very successful. I don’t know what the answer is,” he said.

Labour Assembly Member Val Shawcross described the Crossrail stations, which are currently under construction, as a “string of pearls across London”.

But she added: “I can’t put my hand on my heart and say there is any planning going on to shape the impact of the rising land values. Why can’t the mayor tell us he has a masterplan going on at every one of the Crossrail stations?”

 

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Readers' comments (7)

  • Perhaps a 5% reduction in Vat would help .
    Anthony Doody MCIAT
    Chartered Architectural Technologist

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  • A fread of mine posted out that crossrail wigles is way throw London throw the most expensive boroughs instead of a strait line which would have been much cheaper. Perhaps there is a policy just un seen?

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  • zecks_marquise

    Good job on the vauxhall 'town centre' tezfez

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  • What Farrell actually means is that he isn't getting enough work out of Crossrail.

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  • Farrel's right of course, although his comments about the adavnatages of private sector ownership are nonsense - sound like an exercise in self-interest.
    But they are not particularly wise words - more a statement of the glaringly obvious to anyone with knowledge of urban development. Whenever you build an outer ring infrastructure around a capital city and create concentric connections to augment radial ones, you lay the ground for new centres of activity. In most developed nations, that is so self-evident that you plan for it. Grand Paris, the Berlin Ring, Yamanote Line in Tokyo.........It is a sad testament to the UK planning system that this seems to have been neither recognised, nor planned for, nor does it appear the system is able to be proactive enough to respond in retrospect. It shouldn't be someone like Terry Farrell pointing this out after the fact.

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  • zecks_marquise

    @robert, developments outside the paris ring road is awful

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  • all of which is why traffic in London is grinding to a complete standstill - the infrastructure itself is at a standstill. Only look at the lack of ideas/firm proposals for The Ealing area - which should benefit bigtime from Crossrail, but in reality will suffer bigtime with traffic gridlock from lack of preplanning/commitment by local council.

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