10 difficult questions to ask about the Liverpool Street Station demolition plans!

These questions on plans to partially demolish Liverpool Street Station and cantilever a tower over the grade II* hotel need answering.

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Network Rail recently consulted on plans to partially demolish Liverpool Street Station and cantilever a tower over the grade II* hotel. The consultation materials are here. Sadly, the consultation misrepresented the benefits the scheme will provide. We still need answers to these difficult questions:

  1. How is heritage not going to be harmed when the listed station will be partially demolished and a tower cantilevered over a grade II* building in a conservation area?
  2. Why do the consultation materials make factually incorrect, misleading claims? Such as claiming that the development will pay for 6 extra lifts when some of these are due to be installed separately from the scheme as are the gate line improvements.
  3. Why is this scheme needed when passenger numbers haven’t recovered from Covid, and the Elizabeth Line has reduced the need for people to change trains at Liverpool Street?
  4. Why do the images show the concourse as light filled? Any natural light will be lost as the concourse will have a huge tower over it, putting the Victorian train sheds in shadow.
  5. Why can’t Network Rail redevelop other places it owns (where heritage wouldn’t be harmed) to pay for the accessibility improvements at Liverpool Street? Network Rail is paying for 4 new lifts at suburban Hither Green Station why can’t it pay for lifts at a major London terminus? Or develop other places it owns where there is no harm to heritage to pay for accessibility improvements?
  6. Is the extra revenue will Network Rail make from new commercial space the real driver for the scheme?
  7. How can a new tower which will use huge amounts of carbon to produce all the steel concrete and glass be described as ‘Net Zero’? This seems to be extreme greenwashing by totally ignoring the huge amount of carbon emissions generated by building the tower.
  8. Why did Network Rail partner with Sellar to develop a public asset, Liverpool Street Station, for profit, without any public competition to see which developer could make the station accessible for cheaper, in a less harmful way?
  9. How long will passengers be inconvenienced for whilst the station is demolished and the tower is built? While trains might not have to be diverted, rebuilding the concourse will inevitably cause huge amounts of disruption for passengers. Yet this is not mentioned at all in the materials.
  10. What is the life expectancy of the tower and what impact will its demolition have on the listed buildings? Has a Whole Life Carbon assessment been undertaken for the project? The Building Services Research and Information Association states that 'although many commercial buildings have a design life of 50 years, it is more common for the useful life to be around 25 years'. Indeed the neighbouring Broadgate development has been replaced in a few decades as Network Rail is seeking to do with the station itself.

We expect the planning application to be submitted by the end of the month. We would love more signatories so please share this list on social media and encourage people to sign the petition here

Donations can be made to the Society’s Liverpool Street Station fighting fund here


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