Transport secretary Philip Hammond to confirm agreement this morning

Housebuilder Berkeley Group has signed a wide ranging agreement with the Department for Transport to build £100m Crossrail station at Woolwich, transport secretary Philip Hammond will announce today.

Final agreements were signed with the department and London Development Agency yesterday evening, which will see the station constructed on the south-eastern spur of the £14.5bn east-west rail link.

The signing confirms the station will be built, following concerns expressed by Berkeley at the end of last month that the slipping timetable for doing the deal could put construction of the station in jeopardy.

The station will be sited at the centre of Berkeley’s 4,500-home Woolwich Arsenal scheme. The deal will also see Berkeley take on the entire freehold for the site, and finalise section 106 conditions on a revised planning permission. The revised permission allows Berkeley to build 1,000 more homes on the site, of which fewer are social housing, on the basis of the improved transport connectivity.

In return Berkeley will have to fund a large part of the cost of the station.

Berkeley was ready to sign the deal last year, until the review of Crossrail by the DfT after the election moved responsibility for negotiating the deal from Crossrail itself to Transport for London. Berkeley Urban Development chair John Anderson told Building in January that delaying tactics by the Department were putting a deal in jeopardy, as the construction timetable means work should have started at the very beginning of February.

Anderson said at the time: “Until such time as the contractors have signed on the dotted line there’s always a risk we could lose the station. If we did it would be an absolute tragedy for Woolwich, and I want to avoid that happening.”

Building understands one of the sticking points was an attempt by the department to get Berkeley to accept financial liability for any potential time overruns. It is not clear if Berkeley have agreed to this, with the terms of yesterday’s deal not so far disclosed.

Philip Hammond will make a statement to the Houses of Parliament on the matter later this morning, Building understands.