Stanmore tube station step-free plans put on hold

Plans to add step-free access to Stanmore tube station on the Jubilee line have been pushed back after the housing development that would enable them was withdrawn.

At the moment, the platforms and ticket machines are several flights of stairs down from the main road above. There is a long winding outdoor ramp down to the platforms, but it’s narrow, and not really ideal for access – especially if going up. There have long been calls for something to be done to improve the station, not just for local people, but also because the station is close to the nearby Royal National Orthopedic Hospital and has a lot of patients using it.

Stairs from entrance down to platforms

Transport for London (TfL) had come up with a scheme that would have added step-free access via a new lift that would be included in a housing development that was to be built on the car park that sits next to the station.

However, the plans for the flats provoked a lot of local opposition, mainly to the loss of car parking spaces. The height of one of the tower blocks was also a problem with concerns that it didn’t fit in with the area, although there’s a large block of 7-storey flats being built on the other side of the station.

Although the plans were amended to preserve 300 of the 446 car park spaces in a basement, this was not enough to win over Harrow Council, and the planning application was formally rejected last July.

Since then, the developers, Catalyst in partnership with TfL, have been looking at alternatives or an appeal to the council’s decision. However, Catalyst has now formally withdrawn the planning application.

Apart from not building 277 affordable flats for rental, that also means that the plans to add step-free access for the station have also been set back.

Step-free access plans – from the planning application

A TfL spokesperson said: “We can confirm that Catalyst, the Registered Provider we had selected in 2019 to deliver new homes and improvements to the area in Stanmore, no longer intends to pursue this opportunity and is therefore withdrawing its planning application.”

“Alongside new homes, the application included plans to improve step-free access at Stanmore station. These plans were rejected by Harrow Council in 2021 and Catalyst has since decided to withdraw the application. ”

“We are now considering our next steps for this site, assessing how best to move forward with plans at this location given the urgent need to tackle the capital’s housing crisis and improve accessibility on the transport network. We will continue to engage with Harrow Council and the local community as we do so. ”

Adding a lift shaft for the station is still technically possible, but in the current funding climate, paying for it without the housing development will prove a challenge.

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