Crossrail regeneration should be supported by land acquisition powers, report says

Out-Law News | 23 Apr 2014 | 2:19 pm | 1 min. read

The UK government should ensure necessary enabling powers are in place to make the most of the regeneration potential offered by infrastructure schemes such as Crossrail, a new report has recommended.

Independent policy group Future of London has launched a report setting out recommendations on how boroughs and cross-sector partners can increase regeneration activity around Crossrail stations (47-page / 2.83MB PDF) prior to their planned opening in 2018.

The report said that the government will need to broaden the remit of legislation "from the start" to maximise regeneration opportunities. "If regeneration is part of the business case for a rail or other infrastructure project, parliament must provide the enabling powers, such as land acquisition and funding structure, to support that," it said.

The report sets out 20 recommendations divided into topics including surface connections, partnerships, development, design, planning, and community and employment. It recommends local control over project funding, including targeting public investment to boost the market in "less attractive" areas.

The report also makes eight recommendations on how to maximise the London-wide benefits from future infrastructure projects.

The report said that, although some central London Crossrail hubs had already seen increased property values and development, "the combination of land values, footfall, community interaction and well-resourced boroughs doesn’t yet exist in some of the places Crossrail will stop".

“Realising the regeneration and development potential of rail schemes matters for London," said Future of London director Lisa Taylor in a statement. "It matters for future schemes in making their case, and it matters for communities awaiting Crossrail. Our report is an urgent call to action for all involved, and a set of best-practice guidelines to help stakeholders realise the opportunities while there’s still time," Taylor said.

“Our report also identifies how London could achieve much more in terms of station area regeneration, and its ripple effect on local economies and communities, if greater consideration was given to the ‘non-rail’ aspects of station development right from the outset,” she added.