A trader says he is too worried to sleep after learning the proposed new Crossrail 2 station in Chelsea will be built on his business.
Florist Robert Coughlin has suffered sleepless nights since learning the new station, estimated to cost £1.2 billion, will be built on the site of his stall The Flower Yard, and Chelsea Farmers’ Market.
He had believed the station would be built on Chelsea Fire Station in King’s Road, but was shocked to learn at a Transport for London (TfL) drop-in session held on November 3 that it would now be on the junction of King’s Road and Sydney Street .
He said: “I found out about it at the same time as everyone else. I got not warning.
“I was devastated, I’ve been here more than 10 years and built this business up.
“I know it’s only in consultation so it’s ideas being banded about. Nothing is certain and I can only wait and see, but I think the likelihood is that it will happen. They will do whatever they want to do.”
TfL wants to build the station, which has the backing of Kensington and Chelsea Council , but the high-profile No Crossrail in Chelsea campaign has attracted support from the likes of Felicity Kendal .
Last month, TfL said the station would not be built on the fire station, before unveiling its new proposed location.
Mr Coughlin said: “We were originally told it was going to be the fire station and our little bit was going to be left alone. There was a sense of relief.
“But now Crossrail is moving over to our site. It will affect us quite hard, we need to work out what to do. There aren’t many other locations like this that I can go to.
“I haven’t slept. It’s been tough, I have had a few sleepless nights.”
He is now hoping TfL and the council get in touch to discuss the future but is yet to hear from them. He said: “What I’m hoping for is some kind of sit-down and they will speak to us because we are smack bang in the middle of what’s happening here.
“Hopefully they’ll get important people to speak to us and find solutions for us. I hope they would try to make our lives as easy as possible.”
Michèle Dix, TfL’s Managing Director for Crossrail 2, said Mr Coughlin should have received a letter in advance and apologised for the fact he hadn’t.
She said: “Letters have been sent to all owners and occupiers who may be directly affected by our proposals.
“We are always happy to speak with individual businesses, owners and occupiers, and can arrange for them to speak directly with our specialist property team.
“We can only apologise that Mr Coughlin did not receive the letter we sent to the Flower Yard as part of our Crossrail 2 engagement programme.”
The public consultation on Crossrail 2 runs until January 8 . To comment on proposals go to www.crossrail2.co.uk