Chelsea4Crossrail2 response to Chelsea Society statement of opposition
No viable business case has been demonstrated for Crossrail2 to be diverted through Chelsea
- A viable business case depends on its criteria – As far as we know the case for a local station includes factors larger than concerns of today’s Chelsea residents
- The line is not being diverted; a station in Chelsea was always envisaged but a decision not to might save TFL some construction costs.
The existence of a Crossrail2 station in Chelsea will have an adverse impact on:
The unique character and traditions of Chelsea
- Chelsea’s character and tradition is undefined, other than many properties fall within defined conservation areas. Indeed, Chelsea’s character and tradition has altered over the years and will continue to do so.
The residential occupiers in Chelsea
- This impact is undefined except for a very few properties possibly subject to compulsory purchase, none of them residential.
- Residents will also experience major benefits – Significantly improved public transport access for ‘000s of residents not close to South Kensington & Sloane Square, much faster journey times & a step change improvement in air quality.
The small independent businesses that are such an important part of Chelsea
- All businesses & public organisations will find it easier to attract staff – There is no empirical evidence proving small businesses cannot survive proximity to a station, as a visit to South Kensington & Sloane Square will confirm.
A Crossrail2 station in Chelsea will inevitably lead to unacceptable levels of development in the vicinity of the station, thereby damaging the traditional village character of that part of Chelsea and threatening the businesses which provide the King’s Road with its unique character as one of the main arteries of Chelsea.
- Development is controlled by RBKC with a ‘Chelsea charter’ – Unacceptable levels of development can only occur if RBK&C’s policy changes yet the local townscape and low height of nearby buildings make it extremely unlikely
The disruption that would be caused during the period of construction would in itself cause irreparable damage to the character and traditions of this part of Chelsea as well as the potential for damage to the large number of listed-buildings on the safeguarded route
- No construction causes “irreparable damage” unless allowed to – This will be a closely supervised and technologically developed project ensuring almost no risk to buildings, listed or otherwise.Equally, the very few properties potentially affected by compulsory purchase do not appear to be in a conservation area, nor architecturally significant or listed.
- The potential for damage to the large number of listed buildings is highly unlikely, given experiences to date from other subsurface construction projects
The Society believes that the great majority of the residents of Chelsea and the small independent retailers in Chelsea do not want or need to have a Crossrail2 station in Chelsea.
- Although there is a very vocal group opposed to Crossrail2, a significant “silent” population is looking forward to Crossrail2 placing a station in Chelsea, evidenced by RBK&C’s own work and individual responses to our campaign.
- It is simply not true the “great majority” of residents and small retailers do not want or need a station here in Chelsea.