Florence Eshalomi: Objection to plans for a second Southwark tube entrance

Local London Assembly Member, Florence Eshalomi AM, has today submitted a formal objection to Transport for London’s planning application to Lambeth Council for a new entrance to Southwark tube station. Ms Eshalomi has urged TfL to “think again” about their plans which “are likely to have a detrimental impact on local residents”.

Transport for London (TfL) have proposed a second entrance to Southwark tube station due to increasing passenger numbers. The location of the entrance will be based on Greet Street, sitting in front of Tait House to allow faster access to and from Waterloo East railway station.

Ms Eshalomi has expressed her objections to the plans due to the proposed operating hours of the entrance and the outstanding noise and safety concerns that have been expressed by the community.

In her formal objection, she argues that local residents were misinformed that the new entrance would only be open during regular hours, and thereby closed for the night tube service.

Conversely, TfL’s planning application, submitted in November, proposes that it would be in operation during the same hours as the main station entrance, with the potential to cause noise disturbances for local residents between 05:30am – 01:00am from Sunday to Thursday, and 24 hours a day on Fridays and Saturdays.

Ms Eshalomi also raises the concerns of Tait House residents about the security of their windows and balconies, which sit directly over the pavement next to the proposed site of the new station entrance.

In addition, Ms Eshalomi disputes whether TfL have carried out a full engagement with local residents on Greet Street. Reportedly, no contact has yet been made with Grainger PLC, the freeholder of Tait House. Residents of the nearby Ipsden Building have also complained that they have not yet been consulted on the plans.

Ms Eshalomi also cites claims that TfL gave reassurances to residents, which were later reneged upon, that their planning application to Lambeth Council would not be submitted until officers publicly discussed the plans at upcoming South Bank Forum meeting in December.

In 2009, Network Rail dropped plans to create a new entry point to Waterloo East railway station at the same location after opposition from Lambeth Council and local residents.

Local London Assembly Member, Florence Eshalomi AM said:

“I raised a number of initial concerns about these plans during a site visit with TfL back in September and was pleased to receive reassurances that the potential noise and security issues would be mitigated.

“Since then, I have been very disappointed to see that the promise of closing the second entrance during night tube hours has not been kept and that engagement with residents has been poor.

“We have been here before, when in 2009, Network Rail were forced to drop plans to create a new entrance at the same location after opposition from Lambeth Council and local residents. In a similar vein, I do not see how this application can be successful when the same mistakes are being repeated.

“This is why I am urging the Council to seriously consider the numerous concerns that I have raised in my objection and ask TfL to think again about their plans which are likely to have a detrimental impact on local residents”.

ENDS

Notes to editors

  • Florence Eshalomi AM’s full objection letter submitted to Lambeth Council can be read here;
  • Florence Eshalomi AM is the London Assembly Member for Lambeth and Southwark.