‘Redesign’ of Liverpool Street Station plans following more than 2,000 objections

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Liverpool Street Station
Image credit LDRS

Changes are being made to the £1.5 billion Liverpool Street Station plans after more than 2,000 objections were submitted against the scheme. Trade title Building first reported on the design amendments requested by developer Sellar and Network Rail.

A source told Building architect Herzog & de Meuron has been asked to make changes to ‘reflect City and stakeholder feedback’. A City of London Corporation spokesperson confirmed a ‘redesign process’ had begun, though would not comment further.

Sellar’s proposal to redevelop Liverpool Street Station has drawn significant opposition since it was filed with the City of London last year, with high-profile comments from groups including The Victorian Society and Westminster City Council.

The scheme would involve the partial demolition of the station and the construction of a 20-storey tower cantilevered above the neighbouring Grade-II* listed former Great Eastern Hotel, with new office and hotel space.

Included in the plans are £450m worth of improvements to the station itself, from more lifts and escalators to a new upper concourse and better step-free access. Sellar and its joint venture partners, which as well as Network Rail includes MTR, point to the fact Liverpool Street Station was last redeveloped in the 1980s, and is well over capacity.

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At the time of writing, some 2,217 objections had been filed against the application, with 29 in support.

In one of the most recent submissions, Dominic Bruton, from Finchley, wrote: “What is there now is magnificent. What is proposed is not. Robbing the platforms of natural light is a dreadful idea. No amount of artificial light could possibly compensate. Over time it will become a gloomy warren.

“The proposal is a rehash of ideas long ago dismissed as stupid, ugly and deleterious to the quality of the cityscape, and of the passenger experience. It would entail years of disruption, expense and noise, and I would wager it would be regarded as a colossal expensive mistake within twenty years.”

In its own objection, Westminster City Council wrote that the proposal will ‘harm the setting of St Paul’s Cathedral and will harmfully change an appreciation of this Strategically Important Landmark in views identified as being of strategic importance. We believe the proposal would be contrary to the policies identified within the London Plan and the City of London Local Plan’.

One of the scheme’s most vocal opponents has been the reformed Liverpool Street Station Campaign (LISSCA), which is comprised of groups including The Twentieth Century Society and is chaired by The Victorian Society. James Hughes, Director of The Victorian Society, told the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS): “The Victorian Society has strongly opposed aspects of the scheme, in particular the substantial demolition of parts of the station and the construction of a tall building supported through and cantilevered over a listed building.

“These are non-negotiables as far as the Society is concerned, and we urge Network Rail and Sellar to revisit these issues as part of what must be a root-and-branch review over the coming months. Fundamental changes are required, not minor modifications. Reappraisal of the scheme offers the opportunity to make the entire process more transparent than it has been to date, and we would welcome the opportunity to feed into discussions between the City and the developer.”

According to Building, a separate source said the planned changes to the scheme will be ‘quite big’, and that it is now unlikely to get a planning committee date for the scheme until 2025.

A spokesperson for Sellar said: “We continue to progress and develop our plans for our upgrades to Liverpool Street Station in consultation with the City and other stakeholders.”

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