Northern line extension to Battersea
The Northern line extension to Battersea is a planned extension of the London Underground Northern line to Battersea in South West London, from Kennington to the disused Battersea Power Station. The extension will form a continuation of the Charing Cross branch of the line.
The extension is a partially privately funded project by the site developers, SP Setia and Sime Darby, with contributions from other sources such as the proposed new US Embassy. Subject to permission from the Secretary of State for Transport to build and operate the extension and the required funding being in place, construction could begin in spring 2015, and the extension could be open by 2020. Battersea will be the new southern terminus, with a new station at Nine Elms on Wandsworth Road. Both new stations were originally planned for Travelcard Zone 2, although they may now be put in Travelcard Zone 1 (as part of a plan that would see Kennington reclassifed as a boundary Zone 1/2 station), with a final decision on their zoning to be made by the Secretary of State for Transport in autumn 2014.
A May 2010 consultation put forward four proposals (two with slightly different locations for Nine Elms station, one with an interchange at Vauxhall station for the Victoria line, and one with a direct link with no intermediate station). In the light of the results of the route option consultation, Transport for London decided to develop a route involving two new tube stations, one at Nine Elms, next to the junction of Wandsworth Road and Pascal Street, at a site currently used as a car park for the Nine Elms branch of Sainsbury's, and one serving Battersea Power Station. In addition to serving the mostly residential communities, Nine Elms station will also provide improved access for the nearby New Covent Garden Market and the proposed new US Embassy.
Major landowners and council leaders in London's Nine Elms area said in November 2010 that the extension could be funded largely from developer contributions and would provide an economic windfall for the entire Nine Elms regeneration area. At the inaugural meeting of the Nine Elms and Vauxhall Strategy Board, members were told that a study commissioned by the Greater London Authority had put the total cost for the new link at £560 million. Financing of the extension has been aided by the fact that the developers of the area have been made exempt from the Crossrail Levy and instead are required to pay towards the extension.
On 11 November 2010, Wandsworth Council granted planning permission for the development of the Battersea Power Station site, and this permission was then approved by the Mayor of London on 22 December 2010. Although the plans included a two station extension of the Northern line from Kennington, the extension itself will be the subject of a separate planning process.
In June 2012, the Battersea Power Station site was sold to a Malaysian consortium, SP Setia and Sime Darby, following the bankruptcy of the former owner Real Estate Opportunities.
In November 2012, Transport for London launched a consultation on their preferred route option, giving people living in the area a chance to submit their views.
In December 2012, the Treasury confirmed that it will provide a guarantee that allows the Greater London Authority to borrow up to £1 billion from the Public Works Loan Board, at a preferential rate, to finance the construction of the line.
On 19 November 2013, the Secretary of State for Transport announced the start of a public inquiry into the proposed construction of the extension.
The inquiry, conducted by an independent inspector, finished on 20 December 2013. As of April 2014, the inspector was preparing a report that would be submitted to the Secretary of State for Transport with recommendations. A decision on the application would then expected by the Secretary of State for Transport in the autumn of 2014.
In the meantime various ground investigation works have already begun. These are needed in order to understand the ground conditions in the vicinity of where the new tunnels would be constructed. This is to inform detailed proposals for the extension project should permission be granted to build it.
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