Developer Berkeley Group concerned deadline for Woolwich station will be missed

Construction of a Crossrail station in south-east London could be in doubt if a deal to build it is not agreed with developer Berkeley Group by the start of February.

The £100m Woolwich Crossrail station is to be built by Berkeley Group, in the centre of its 4,500-home Woolwich Arsenal development.

However, Berkeley Urban Development’s chair John Anderson said there was a risk a deal with Crossrail and Transport for London would not be able to be done in time to meet Crossrail’s programme. Anderson said Berkeley was supposed to be on site by the start of February in order to have any chance of having the station complete by the end of 2013, Crossrail’s deadline.

He said: “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.”

Anderson said all parties were agreed on the funding package to be paid to Berkeley for the station, but that Transport for London had yet to agreed to the legal terms of the deal. Anderson said there were six working days left to sign the agreement before the deadline was missed.

“We made an agreement with Crossrail over this six months ago but since then the department [for Transport] have transferred responsibility for this station to TfL. TfL are reviewing legal agreements, there aren’t substantive differences.”

The original Crossrail route did not include a station at Woolwich, but the stop was added after local uproar, and a promise by Berkeley Group to build it.

Anderson added: “The concern I have is I don’t want anything to happen where this station is lost and can be blamed on a failure to agree a deal. Particularly after we fought so hard for it.”

A Crossrail spokesperson said:  “Transport for London and the Department for Transport are working with Greenwich Council and Berkeley Homes to finalise the funding arrangements for the station at Woolwich. We expect agreement to be reached shortly. In the meantime Crossrail has compulsorily purchased any property that will be required allowing construction to proceed once final agreement has been reached.” 

A DfT Spokesman said: “We are looking to broker a solution between all parties - including Greenwich and Berkeley Homes - to reach agreement on the funding for the construction of a station box at Woolwich, preserving the potential for a Crossrail station in the future. Progress continues to be made, with final resolution of the issues expected shortly.”