Lambeth Council gave its go-ahead to the Northern Line Extension at a cabinet meeting on March 4, despite resident groups asking them to wait for more detail and concessions.
The extension will be built from Kennington (Charing Cross branch) to Battersea Power Station via a new stop to be created at Nine Elms, to serve the 16,000 new homes going up as part of the huge Vauxhall and Nine Elms regeneration scheme.
Council leader Lib Peck said: “This is a vital development for jobs and growth in south London and I am determined to see thousands of Lambeth residents benefit directly from the new jobs and homes which are being created on their doorstep.”
The council said the scheme would create 25,000 new jobs.
But residents’ groups said the regeneration would benefit developers rather than residents.
The NLE is estimated at a cost of £1billion, of which £7.5 million will be provided by the council, out of an estimated £46million that the development would bring to the borough. This is 45 per cent less than the council was initially expected to contribute. But the cost of non-NLE infrastructure that the borough must provide to the scheme is £52 million, of which only £39 million is accounted for, leaving £13.3 million the council still has to find.
Umbrella group DATA, who represent a number of residents’ associations, say councillors themselves, including leader Lib Peck, had previously insisted that technical and environmental standards should be higher than TfL proposed, but ended up approving the proposal.
They say the NLE was favoured from the start with an “extremely light” consultation on other options, such as the existing Eurostar line. They suggest “TfL committed to build the NLE not in response to a transport-needs analysis but as part of an incentive deal for a private sector developer to build luxury flats for profit.”
Another residents’ group , the Kennington and Walworth Action Group (KWNAG), urged the council to reject the NLE proposal mainly because of its “lack of environmental or other detail”, namely the lift shafts in Kennington Park, which they say will blight the green space for three years.
Chair of the KWNAG, David Reed, said: “We feel this project is being rushed through for convenience and Lambeth Council should not feel bullied into agreeing to half-baked proposals.”
There is a public meeting to discuss the regeneration and NLE on Wednesday, March 20 at 7pm at the Wheatsheaf Hall SW8. http://www.lambeth.gov.uk/moderngov/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=113&MId=8165