A planning application was submitted this week for WSPsproposals for redevelopment of London Bridge Station (TP Bennett did earlier masterplanning) they has also asked for listed building consent to demolish the train shed roof and conservation area consent for demolition of the former South Eastern Railway building.
A new platform level concourse and bus station will be funded by the Shard. This application is for a second phase and much more dramatic. London Bridge Station is not one station but two squeezed together in a ‘sprawling confusion’.
As part of the Thameslink programme the platforms will be enlarged to cope with 12 car trains, platforms will be covered, passenger cpacity would be increased by around 2/3rds. Three terminus platforms will be closed and three new through platforms created to allow additional services to continue either to Cannon Street or Charing Cross, or to Blackfriars and onwards via the Thameslink route.
Below the platforms London Bridge station would have a new concourse, the largest in the UK, with natural light from canopies above. The platforms will sit above this concourse and passengers will be able to access them all from one place, solving the very poor interchange problems with the current station.
The old train shed, above the terminating platforms, would be demolished.
Of the two roads under the Station Stainer Street would become a pedestrian-only route. It would remain open 24 hours a day, even when the station is closed. Weston Street would be closed. It would seem that this would require changing the traffic flow on part of St Thomas’s Street.
New Street level entrances would be created on St Thomas Street, serving the Shard and Tooley Street, Serving More London.
Some arches business would be lost but this would seem outweighed by the major improvements to the Station.
The railway arches along St Thomas Street and Crucifix Lane have recently been Grade II listed, they would not be directly threatened by the proposals, indeed from the visualisations the Grimshaw proposals seem to enhance them. The architects wanted to remove the lower arches, quite rightly the Southwark Conservation Staff wished to keep them.
The original trainshed, the earliest London Terminus, though by no means the grandest, has to go as the retaining wall is to be demolished to make way for the new through Thamelink platforms. It will be dismantled and stored, looking for a new use. It would have been nice to have had a single overarching roof.
The controversy will no doubt come from the proposals to demolish the South Eastern Railway Buildings. This is attractive, in a conservation area not listed. The purpose would be twofold, to create an entrance and to avoid pedestrian congestion from the London Dungeon creating an open area opposite the similar one for More London. This aspect of teh scheme has got Private Eyes back up. The Tooley Street facade has been cuttingly described on the SE1 Forum as looking like a Waitrose.