The transformation of hundreds of TfL-owned sites across London represents a ‘huge opportunity’ for the capital, according to the man spearheading the initiative.
Graeme Craig, commercial development director at TfL said at a breakfast conference at NLA last week that, although we need to find a better way of explaining what the opportunity is to the general public, TfL’s ‘unique’ portfolio in London shows what can be done as long as the right, contextual answers are found.
Craig said that the tube map was a good representation of the job in hand, with ‘fantastic’ sites identified and which will be brought forward, including Northwood. ‘It’s a town that desperately needs a town centre and we need to create one’. Or there was Blackhorse Road, a site that was little more than a car park that people drive past, or south Kensington, which does little to convey the excitement and world-class attractions of Exhibition Road beyond. The job was about local context, and dragging that into such local stations.
TfL aims to create some 3,000 homes over the next four months in places like Harrow on the Hill and Finchley Central, North Greenwich and Canning Town, not to mention Crossrail sites for retail, residential and commercial. It is also looking at the ‘fantastic opportunity to think about what healthy streets might look like’ embodied in the plans to transform 26, potentially 70 acres at Earls Court, as well as (finally) over-site developments at Southwark and Bermondsey stations – commercial in the first, and residential in the second.
‘There’s every incentive in the world for us to make the best use of the assets that we’ve got’, said Craig.
The conference also heard quick fire presentations on particular schemes, including Turnpike Lane, where Studio Egret West architect Freddie Jackson said there was potential to bring the park across the road at the site near the Holden-designed station. Barking Town Centre, meanwhile, represented an opportunity to create a major bridge like link to the rear of the station, and perhaps a museum of motoring, said Pilbrow + Partners architect Elena Buffa. South Harrow was all about delivering new public space and catalysing new opportunities, said Maccreanor Lavington architect Andrew Kitching, while Burnt Oak, said AECOM engineer Elton Yan, was similarly a development that was a potential beacon to attract high densities to the area as well as connect to the community.
By David Taylor - Editor, New London Quarterly