Imperial Wharf station back on track
by Hammersmith and Fulham Press Office
The construction of a new station in the south of Fulham is a step closer after a Hammersmith and Fulham Council planning committee granted approval for a range of ‘reserved matters’ applications from Imperial Wharf developers, St George.
The consent, given at an H&F Council planning committee last night (30 October), sorts out details for previously approved buildings at the riverside complex and, as part of a legal agreement attached to the approval, St George will now also contribute an extra £1.25 million towards the cost of the station.
The two local councils of Hammersmith & Fulham and Kensington & Chelsea have greeted the news as local residents have been waiting for the station for a long time and there now appears to be light at the end of the tunnel.
H&F Council Leader, Councillor Stephen Greenhalgh, says, “We have negotiated hard with the developers to get the best deal for local residents. I am pleased that the planning committee has given approval for these applications as they deliver more funding towards the much needed station and more low cost affordable homes to low and middle income earners. This is great news for residents in South Fulham and Chelsea and we will now get on with pressing Network Rail to reduce their sky-high management fees which seem to be the last obstacle delaying the construction of the station.”
K&C Council Leader, Councillor Merrick Cockell, says, “This is good news for the residents of Kensington & Chelsea as well as our neighbours in Hammersmith & Fulham. The whole area desperately needs a new station and this extra funding brings the station another step closer.”
The approval also means that more low cost home ownership opportunities will come on stream at Imperial Wharf and help to meet the demand for low cost home ownership, particularly from younger key workers. The changes create a broader range of different types, sizes and prices of homes, to help deliver a more balanced community with homes for sale with at least a 30 per cent discount.
Cllr Greenhalgh concludes, “In the past prestigious riverside developments like Imperial Wharf would have been out of reach to low and middle income earners. But now the smallest apartment costs £122,000 which is in the reach of more modest income earners. They are not large homes but they are quality homes in a prestigious riverside housing development and I’m sure they will be very desirable to a large number of people. “
Councillor Lucy Ivimy, H&F Planning Committee Chairman, added, “The Planning Committee took care to consider these reserved matters applications in detail and came to the conclusion that they do form a well thought out and positive proposal that will bring very real benefits to the borough. We were particularly pleased to be able at last to approve the long awaited public park."
Station funding time line:
May 2000 - Section 106 signed with St George with figure of £1.75 million. This figure was based on a Railtrack estimate of the full cost, which, in turn, was based on the actual cost of West Brompton station, which had opened in 1999 and cost about £1.5 million. Imperial Wharf station would be more expensive than West Brompton because it's on an embankment.
2003 - Cost estimates increased to £3 million.
September 2006 - cost estimate of £5.1 million following detailed design which had allowed site investigation.
March 2007 - Re-tendering exercise done to confirm these costs, resulted in increase to £5.3 million.
June 2007 - Network Rail added their project management costs of £1.2 million, bringing the total cost to £6.5 million
End September 2007 - Network Rail's analysis of costs led to current estimate of £7.93 million.