Nine Elms £15bn revamp plans unveiled – but must not be at expense of Vauxhall Bus Station, say residents

THE LATEST plans for Vauxhall’s multi-billion pound transformation have been revealed to the public.

The £15bn revamp, one of the biggest regeneration projects in Europe, will create new businesses, homes and parks, as well as a tube station, across 482 acres of brownfield land on the South Bank at Nine Elms over the next 20 years.

At the heart of the ambitious project will be the New Covent Garden Market and Battersea Power station, which will both be redeveloped, and the US and Dutch Embassies. The Chinese Embassy is also rumoured to have shown interest in the project.

The Vauxhall business hub will create up to 22,000 construction jobs, 1000 apprenticeships and another 25,000 jobs upon completion, with a focus on employing local people.

A Northern line extension from Kennington to Nine Elms could be up and running by 2020 if the government gives it the green light in autumn this year. Plans to get rid of the Vauxhall gyratory, a notorious accident blackspot, and replace it with a two-way system, have also been put forward.

Head of Wandsworth Council Ravi Govindia said: “The Nine Elms regeneration will completely change an area which was a complete backwater; poorly connected with few homes and jobs.

“It will bring transformation, change and international connectivity.”

The development will provide 3000 affordable homes out of up to 20,000 homes in total – far below the amount of affordable housing typically required under the Affordable Housing Programme in Nine Elm’s surrounding areas.

While new developments in Lambeth can mandate up to 40 per cent affordable housing, the Nine Elms development has lower levels so as not to place additional pressure on schools, parks, transport and power, programme director and head of the Nine Elms delivery team Helen Fisher said.

Ms Fisher addressed fears that the development could drive local businesses out of the area. “Some local businesses will have to, or choose to, relocate, but we will work closely with them,” she said.

“It’s very important that we work with the businesses already in the area and ensure that they benefit as much as possible. It’s important for businesses to have a good working environment and we will provide that as well as better transport links to make it easier for more people to come to the area.”

SAVE THE VAUXHALL BUS STATION

RESIDENTS are campaigning to save the Vauxhall bus station from demolition, backed by Vauxhall MP Kate Hoey and a petition signed by more than 15000 people.

TfL have put forward four options for a transport system to serve Vauxhall as part of the Nine Elms development – but all would involve scrapping the bus station. The interchange, the second busiest in London, was opened just ten years ago.

“The new options are just four different ways to knock down the bus station,” said Pauline Gaunt, a campaigner for Save the Vauxhall Bus Station, supported by Vauxhall Society.

“Vauxhall needs change but not at the expense of the bus station.”

Kate Hoey, MP for Vauxhall, said: “I was most disappointed that despite promises being given none of the options shown have retained our bus station. The designers seem to have no understanding of why the public find this interchange so good and certainly have not listened to its users. I will continue to campaign for a Plan that retains the bus station, improves the safety of cyclists and pedestrians and keeps traffic flowing.”

 

Alex Williams, director of borough planning for TfL, said: “It is a contentious subject but we want to think about how we can transport in Vauxhall for everyone

“There will be discussions with local community groups and a consultation in August so that the best final decision can be made.”