Big developers urge Ministers to back Crossrail 2

Date: 04 Apr 2017

Sixty-six house builders and property developers today urged the Government to back Crossrail 2 as a means to help tackle London’s housing crisis.

Leaders from Berkeley Group, Taylor Wimpey, British Land and all of London’s largest housing associations have written to the Chancellor, Transport Secretary and Communities Secretary spelling out how the next phase of Crossrail would spur growth in the Capital.

The signatories urge the Government to give the green light to the scheme without delay, so they can seize the opportunities to develop housing and commercial space in areas opened up by improved transport capacity.

They argue Crossrail 2 will give house builders the certainty they need to build up to 200,000 homes urgently needed to help address the housing shortage across London and the South East.

Benefits would be felt right across the South East with nearly a third of the new homes delivered outside London, supporting regional growth corridors between Cambridge and Stansted, and south west towards Portsmouth.

The letter comes on the same day that the Westminster Property Association (WPA) called on the Government to back Crossrail 2 with the publication of a report setting out how private sector investment could be maximised to help recoup the project’s costs.

Tony Pidgley Berkeley Group chairman, said: “Crossrail 2 is a fantastic opportunity to improve London and the South East’s infrastructure, and will help us build the homes this region desperately needs.

“It will unlock areas of huge potential, such as the Upper Lea Valley, and we will look to these areas to meet the demand for housing. Crossrail 2 is the only scheme that can make a significant difference to the South East’s housing stock and the Government must not delay.”

Stephen Howlett, Peabody chief executive, said: “The right transport infrastructure is essential if we are to boost the supply of desperately needed new homes in the capital.  As well as boosting housing supply, Crossrail 2 will create jobs and drive London’s economy. We hope the project will get the go ahead in the very near future. “

Craig McWilliam, chief executive of Grosvenor Britain & Ireland, said: “The case for Crossrail 2 is strong, the benefits are national and the opportunity should be taken. With it, private-sector investment would follow, delivering new homes, new jobs and the best public spaces.”

Last month, more than 70 business leaders, including at EY, Deloitte, Aviva Group, Gatwick Airport, Heathrow Airport, Canary Wharf Group, FSB Surrey & West Sussex, and Surrey, Essex, Hertfordshire, Hampshire, and Cambridgeshire Chambers of Commerce, hailed the infrastructure project as being of national importance.

London has already committed to meeting half the cost – unlike other nationally significant projects that do not receive such levels of local funding. But now the project needs a commitment from ministers.


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