Don’t miss your chance to object to demolition plans at Liverpool Street Station!

Image: Mock up of the proposal for the redevelopment of Liverpool Street Station by Herzog & De Meuron. Image Credit: Sellar/Binyan.

Image: Mock up of the proposal for the redevelopment of Liverpool Street Station by Herzog & De Meuron. Image Credit: Sellar/Binyan.

The Victorian Society is urging the public to respond to a public consultation to object to proposals to partially demolish Liverpool Street Station. The Victorian Society also plans to reform the Liverpool Street Station Campaign (LISSCA) which successfully prevented Liverpool Street Station’s demolition in the 1970s. The public can donate to the Society’s Liverpool Street fighting fund here.

The Victorian Society Director Joe O’Donnell said:

‘It is deeply depressing that an ‘arm’s length’ public body like Network Rail has been developing these proposals for 4 years but only consults on them when the plan has been decided upon and before Historic England has responded to the Society’s application to upgrade the station’s out of date 1975 listing. This ‘consultation’ gives no opportunity to consider less harmful options and uses images which misleadingly ‘greys out’ the huge tower above the station to make it semi-transparent. Rather than a sensitive response to listed buildings in a conservation area, the proposals appear to be an attempt to maximise commercial return by creating a shopping centre dressed up public amenity space over the station.

‘Worse is the developer’s reported statement that the scheme ‘will not harm the historic station’. While different opinions on the level of harm are possible, stating that there will be no harm is obviously false. Consequently, the public and decision makers should think twice before trusting the developer’s statements on the impact of the scheme.’

Today, I am approaching organisations across the heritage sector to reform the Liverpool Street Station Campaign which, led by Sir John Betjeman, then Vice President of the The Victorian Society, successfully defeated British Rail’s proposals to demolish all the buildings at Liverpool Street Station at a public enquiry.’

The justification for these harmful proposals is a need to improve passenger flow at the station. However, the plans have been in development for 4 years i.e. before the pandemic changed working patterns – probably forever. It is not clear that passenger numbers, let alone passenger number growth, will return to what was predicted pre pandemic. Furthermore, the proposals fail to take into account the Elizabeth Line’s impact on the number of passenger interchanges at Liverpool Street. With so much still uncertain it seems far too early to embark on such a damaging scheme.

After no response to requests for meetings for many months the The Victorian Society finally met representatives from Sellar, National Rail and Herzog De Mueron to discuss proposals for Liverpool Street Station and the London Andaz Hotel on Friday 11th November. This was first opportunity the Society had to meet with those developing the proposals. Unfortunately, it confirmed the Society’s serious concerns about the project.

The proposed redevelopment of the station and hotel would irreparably damage its character and architectural and historical significance. The existing station concourse would become double level and the fine late 20th century Victorian style roof and entrances to the station – which tie the surviving the 19th century parts of the station and hotel together – would be demolished and replaced by a new contrasting roof structure designed to support a tower constructed over the station and hotel. This would cause serious harm to the listed buildings and their settings, eroding the special character of the station.

The listed former Great Eastern Hotel (now Andaz) would be converted to offices with the hotel relocated to the tower constructed on top of it. New entrances to the station would be knocked through the fine historic ballroom which would become an entrance foyer for the station. The changes would harm this building which has functioned as a hotel for nearly 140 years, damaging some of its key historic interiors.

The proposed tower would have a serious effect on the listed buildings it would be constructed over, the setting of nearby listed buildings and the wider Bishopsgate Conservation Area. Currently the Liverpool Street Station and its immediate surroundings are characterised by medium and low scale buildings, a tower on top of a 6 storey hotel would destroy this.



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