Get ready for Crossrail — that’s Crossrail 2, a new north-south route through London that will trigger the building of 200,000 new homes. The £27 billion project is now taking shape after being approved by the Government in the spring Budget.
Transport strategists have revealed that the line will run from Hertfordshire to Surrey through the heart of the capital, connecting with the suburban railway network and the Tube system. There will be new tunnels between Tottenham Hale and Wimbledon, together with several new stations, including — contentiously — one at King’s Road in Chelsea.
Whereas the purpose of Crossrail 1, the east-west link scheduled to open in 2018, is to serve business districts, Crossrail 2 will unlock land mainly for housing, particularly in north London and the Upper Lea Valley on the city’s north-east fringe. Priority zones for entire new neighbourhoods have been designated around new stations such as at Meridian Water in Enfield, and many of the new properties will be built sooner rather than later, during the next three to five years.
Linking homes to jobs
Connecting people’s homes with places where the jobs are is a well-tested strategy begun during the first great railway era a century ago when so-called “ribbon development” along new commuter lines between central London and the home counties created suburbs and the geographical entity dubbed “Metro-Land”.
As with Crossrail 1, which continues to cause property ripples along its route, Crossrail 2 will create opportunites and substantial changes in some areas. And though this new link will not be complete until 2030, estate agents predict it will quickly become embedded in buyers’ minds, influencing their decision-making. So if you want to reap rewards, study the map and get to grips with this major transport upgrade.
Crossrail 2’s route through London will be via Waltham Cross, New Southgate, Seven Sisters, Angel, Euston and Victoria. A spur through Hackney to Dalston is likely and the line will intersect with Crossrail 1 at Tottenham Court Road, transforming this station into a mega transport hub. After Chelsea, the line will cross the Thames to Clapham Junction. Balham or Tooting Broadway will be a Crossrail 2 station, ending the area’s overdependency on the Northern line. From Wimbledon, the line will branch off to four Surrey stations: Epsom, Shepperton, Hampton Court and Chessington South.
1. King’s Road, Chelsea
The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea is backing the new station despite protests from some local residents who claim tunnelling will cause property blight and that it will be difficult to handle the vast number of passengers — 5,000 per hour during peak periods — that this project will bring.
The council says Crossrail 2 is a vital transport link for a currently Tube-starved area, helping local businesses, hospitals, universities and cultural venues such the Science Museum.
It will provide three-minute links to Clapham Junction, onwards to Gatwick, and six-minute journeys to Tottenham Court Road, with direct trains to Canary Wharf and Heathrow airport.
On its way: construction of Crossrail 2 is due to start in 2020
The new station will be located at the junction with Sydney Street. The façades of existing buildings will be retained, with the ticket hall below ground.
A bustling new terminus may well change the character of King’s Road, but it is likely to push up the value of Chelsea properties. A notable beneficiary will be Chelsea Waterfront, a new neighbourhood being built around listed Lots Road power station.
Beset by busy roads, this part of Chelsea feels detached from the quaint garden square heartland either side of King’s Road and has always been a poor relation, but a Crossrail station will help to bring it in from the cold.
Transformation of the eight-acre site has started and homes priced from £1.55 million are on sale. The power station itself, a prized industrial relic with vast arched windows and tall twin chimneys, is being opened up with 260 flats and a covered “high street” with cafés, restaurants and shops. There will be 760 new homes in all, 10 new buildings including a pair of slender skyscrapers, water gardens, pedestrian bridges across tidal Chelsea Creek and a 650-yard riverside promenade.
2. Meridian Water, Enfield
A district with 10,000 homes is being built around a new station that will open in 2018 and provide 25-minute commutes to Liverpool Street plus an 18-minute rail link to Stratford. Eventually, the station will be plugged into Crossrail 2. Barratt, the developer, says the first phase of 725 homes, a mix of flats and family houses, will be launched next year.
The development borders Lee Valley Regional Park, a vast green swathe stretching along the banks of the River Lee, from Docklands to Hertfordshire.
3. Tottenham Hale
In Zone 3, Tottenham Hale is already one of the best-connected stations in London, being on the Victoria line and the Stansted Express route and having a quick train link to Stratford. Yet this is still one of the cheapest inner-London areas for property.
One of 10 new housing zones designated by the London Mayor, fast-tracked regeneration is making a difference here. Hale Village, right next to the train station, is leading the way. This 12-acre site includes a new University of the Arts campus and borders protected parkland and the Lea Navigation, a once-vital canal route running into Docklands.
Up to 1,200 homes are being built, including The Pavilions, where two-bedroom flats cost from £504,995. Developer Bellway says the homes are popular with key workers and young career professionals priced out of Zones 1 and 2, such as junior doctors and nurses.
An aerial view of Hale Village in Tottenham which is set to benefit from the arrival of Crossrail 2
4. Clapham Junction
This is already Europe’s busiest interchange, with up to 2,000 trains per day stopping or passing through. As well as becoming a Crossrail station, a Northern line Tube extension from Battersea Power Station is planned. Clapham Junction station is getting more than a facelift. Proposals include a new pedestrian plaza and shopping hub in Grant Road, which will boost a gritty patch that has always been considered the wrong side of the tracks. A new library, leisure centre and park are coming and the goal is to stitch together neighbourhoods between Clapham Junction and the river and Wandsworth town centre.
Winstanley and York Road council estates are to get a revamp, with new blocks built and mixed-tenure housing introduced, including private and shared-ownership flats as well as social rent homes.
A 57-acre housing zone covering the area from the station to the Battersea waterfront is the main focus. Plans include a green route to Wandsworth Common and Jubilee Bridge, a new pedestrian and cycle crossing to Fulham. St John’s Way is the first of the new developments, with a mix of 540 private and shared-ownership flats and houses, from £730,000.
Transport-led regeneration is the single most important factor boosting the value of homes, say property experts, and Crossrail 2 may be the upgrade with the biggest impact in London to date.