Transport for London wants to build 550 homes at Arnos Grove and Cockfosters tube stations, reports James Cracknell
Councillors and community leaders have criticised Transport for London (TfL) after it revealed plans to build hundreds of homes on two tube station car parks.
The plans could see 400 homes built at Cockfosters Station and 150 at Arnos Grove Station, both of which are listed buildings. Mayor of London Sadiq Khan wants to build 10,000 homes in total across TfL’s land portfolio, with half being designated ‘affordable’.
But the developments, if approved by Enfield Council, would substantially reduce and potentially eliminate the availability of car parking for commuters at the two Piccadilly Line stations, with the exception of disabled parking spaces. TfL says it wants to encourage a shift to sustainable transport by developing “car free” housing schemes.
The station car park at Cockfosters is adjacent to Trent Park. Peter Gibbs, chairman of the Friends of Trent Country Park, has issued a statement highly critical of TfL. He said: “Transport for London’s announcement that it wants to plough up Cockfosters Station car park and build 400 flats is a body-blow to travellers and residents.
“Hundreds of commuters dependant on parking to access the Piccadilly Line will be displaced, many on to our local streets. The car park is full every day and unless this project is stopped travellers will have no choice but to park where they can, even in Trent Park.
“We are especially concerned for the numerous disadvantaged travellers who need easy access to the station, and the many shift workers who value the security of having independent transport to hand any time of the day. All this amenity will be lost because there are no proposals from TfL to replace the car parking.”
Daniel Anderson, a councillor for Southgate Green ward which includes Arnos Grove Station, told the Dispatch: “The infrastructure support for the area is not in place – Arnos Grove Medical Centre has gone from having 1,900 patients to 6,000. Unless you improve public transport, with more local connections, building on the car park will mean the council will have to put in CPZs [controlled parking zones] all over the place.
“TfL hasn’t thought this through. It is frankly ridiculous. Residents are up in arms.”
The homes planned for the stations would be built by developer Grainger and then rented out, rather than sold. Graeme Craig, director of commercial development at TfL, said: “’Build to Rent’ is a really exciting programme and we’re thrilled at the prospect of working with Grainger to build the homes that our city desperately needs.
“It provides us with an unrivalled opportunity to deliver affordable, high-quality homes at pace, including at Cockfosters and Arnos Grove, while also generating significant ongoing revenue to reinvest into the transport network.”
TfL held two public consultation events about its plans in June and is still welcoming comments from local people. No planning applications have yet been submitted.