After years of consultations and negotiations there is now agreement between the Government, Mayor of London, Lambeth Council and Wandsworth Council on how the Northern Line Extension should be funded, and we are near the point when Transport for London will start the planning process for the Northern Line Extension.
When the Northern Line Extension was first identified as the preferred transport solution, we as councillors shared the concern of residents that Lambeth shouldn't be paying for it at the expense of Lambeth residents. We have negotiated down Lambeth's contribution to the NLE from 62% to 15% of the monies due from the private developers. This is a huge win for Lambeth and one your Labour councillors have pushed for from the start.
More detail is outlined below but the next step for us all is to work out how we as a community decide how the remaining developer money is used to support the needs of existing communities alongside measures to mitigate the various developments.
Funding the Northern Line Extension
- The Government will set up an Enterprise Zone – where business rates from the new businesses created as part of the Vauxhall- Nine Elms- Battersea developments will be collected over the next 25 years to pay for the NLE. The only sites in Lambeth in the Enterprise Zone will be the Wandsworth Road Sainsbury’s site and the Vauxhall Square site (immediately south of Vauxhall Cross, bordered by Parry Street, Wandsworth Road and Bondway). All the other sites in the EZ will be in Wandsworth.
- Funding from the private developers will also contribute to the NLE. This is currently collected through Section 106, in the future this will be collected through the Community Infrastructure Levy. Current estimated development income for Lambeth Council will total £46m, of which the GLA is seeking agreement that £7.3m be allocated to contribute towards the cost of the NLE. This is just 15% of the income we will collect from developers. The rest will be used to pay for the other infrastructure needed in Vauxhall, such as sorting out the Vauxhall Cross gyratory, improved public space and school places. By contrast, the developers of Battersea Power Station will contribute £203m to the NLE.
- The Government in underwriting the cost of the project, and the risk will lie with the Greater London Authority. Neither Lambeth nor Wandsworth will shoulder any risk. TfL has also committed to taking all of the risk on any increase in costs that may occur in relation to other transport infrastructure over and above what is already planned.
Lambeth Cabinet on 4 March
A paper is being heard by the Cabinet on 4 March. The recommendations are:
- that the noise level resulting from trains does not exceed 35dB (fast) and that mitigation measures are explored to reduce the noise level as far as possible below that level
- that the Council is satisfied that all other impacts of the NLE are minimised and that this is clearly set out and demonstrated by the documents included in the Transport Works Act Order submission
- that the shafts and any associated buildings at Kennington Green and Kennington Park are designed to the highest standard, to be determined by the Council, and that mitigation measures to minimise the impacts of noise and air pollution are provided
- that the proposed station at Nine Elms and the public realm surrounding it are designed to the highest quality, to be determined by the Council
- agreement between the Council and TfL on a satisfactory package of other strategic transport improvements, including improved/new bus services, that ensures the NLE is part of an overall strategic transport solution for the VNEB Opportunity Area
- that the transformational change to the public realm and the bus station be progressed leading to the creation of a new district centre and the removal of the Vauxhall Gyratory wherever possible and to the satisfaction of the Council.
- That the Enterprise Zone as it relates to Lambeth is limited to the developments know as Vauxhall Square (Planning Ref 11/04428/FUL) and the redevelopment of the existing Sainsbury store on Wandsworth Road, (Planning Ref 11/02326OUT), as defined by the relevant planning permissions that the Planning Application Committee have approved, subject to S106 Agreements.
- That all efforts be made to reduce the potential infrastructure funding gap by working with existing strategic partners who have a responsibility to provide infrastructure for the new population.
Benefits for Lambeth
- 3,500 new homes and 8,000 new jobs created in Lambeth. Many thousands more jobs on the Wandsworth side available for Lambeth residents to apply for.
- A new tube station at Nine Elms which will dramatically improve transport connections around Wandsworth Road.
- Pressure taken off Vauxhall tube station, as passengers in Nine Elms and Battersea will not add to the demands on Vauxhall and the Victoria line.
- A fast, direct new tube connection from Kennington to the jobs, shops and services being developed at Battersea Power Station.
- As new buildings are erected, developers will have to pay £46m to Lambeth. Only £7.3m of that extra money will go to the Northern line. The rest will go to other projects in Lambeth, such as the sorting out the Vauxhall Gyratory System.
- With all the new businesses in the area Lambeth will get more income from the business rates. Lambeth will keep all this extra money.
- Only Sainsbury’s on Wandsworth Road and the Vauxhall Square development will be in the new Enterprise Zone, meaning Lambeth will give 70% of the extra business rates to Government.
Lambeth’s Overview & Scrutiny committee on 20 March
The committee that Stephen and Mark are both members of will consider the regeneration of Vauxhall and the Northern Line Extension. It is a public meeting so you are welcome to attend. We will also be holding the meeting at the Wheatsheaf Hall, South Lambeth Road, SW8 2UP, in order to hopefully make it easier for those residents most affected to get to.
Transport experts believe that the Northern Line Extension is the best way to improve transport links and regenerate the Vauxhall- Nine Elms- Battersea riverfront. No other transport solution will provide the capacity that will be needed to make the area a success.
It will cost money, but we think out of a budget of £1bn, asking Lambeth to pay £7.3m from the money developers give us and 70% of the extra business rates that businesses give us on only two sites is a great deal!
Some groups who are against the Northern line Extension will tell you that this money could be better spent on Lambeth residents and not on the Northern Line Extension. But just think about this for a minute. Without the Northern Line Extension, Battersea Power Station would not be developed. A lot of other sites in the area would not be developed, as transport will be overwhelmed. We would not get the all of the £46m from developers in Vauxhall, as there would not be a comprehensive transport solution to support all of the planned development. We would not get all of the extra business rates from the new businesses. We would not get all of the 3,500 new homes and 8,000 new jobs.
So being against the Northern Line Extension does not mean saving Lambeth £7.3m. It means costing us millions of pounds, thousands of homes, thousands of jobs and a once in a lifetime opportunity to redevelop Vauxhall- Nine Elms- Battersea.