Northern line extension order approved by Secretary of State for Transport

Out-Law News | 13 Nov 2014 | 5:02 pm | 1 min. read

Secretary of State for Transport (SoS) Patrick McLoughlin MP has approved a proposed order that will allow Transport for London (TfL) to build and operate an extension to the London Underground’s Northern line.

TfL applied to the SoS in April 2013 for a Transport and Works Act (TWA) Order authorising it to construct and operate a 3.2 km extension of the Charing Cross Branch of the Northern line from Kennington to a new station at the disused Battersea Power Station, with an intermediate station at Nine Elms.

Following a public inquiry in November and December last year, planning inspector JS Nixon recommended in a report to the SoS (255-page / 5.4 MB PDF) that the order be made and that deemed planning consent be granted for the works proposed. The inspector concluded that the Northern line extension (NLE) was "crucial" to redevelopment in the Vauxhall, Nine Elms and Battersea Opportunity Area (VNEB OA).

In a decision letter (21-page / 151 KB PDF) issued yesterday, it was confirmed that the SoS had decided to make the TWA Order. It was noted in the letter that "the justification for the NLE is derived not solely from the existing transport needs of the area" but from anticipated future development. The letter noted that "almost all of the funding for the NLE would come from the substantial new development proposed in the VNEB OA" and that many new homes and jobs in the area were directly dependent on construction of the NLE.

The SoS agreed with the inspector that the benefits that would result from the NLE included "improving transport accessibility by connecting the VNEB OA to the London Underground network; ... acting as a fundamental catalyst for regeneration of the VNEB OA; ... increasing the supply of housing; and ... generating 25,000 jobs in the service, retail and construction sectors".

The letter said the SoS ultimately agreed "with the inspector's overall conclusion that the cumulative benefits of the NLE provide a compelling justification for the scheme" and that "this is underpinned by the very high cost to benefit ratio of nearly 10:1".

Construction is expected to start in early 2015.