Campaigners are calling on Kensington and Chelsea Council to officially rule out a proposal to build a Crossrail 2 station on their estate.
A statement by Councillor Timothy Coleridge, the council's transport boss, said it was now throwing its weight behind Chelsea Fire Station as the best location for a station in a TfL consultation. Yet this has not come as a relief for Cremorne residents whose estate was only identified as a possible site after a letter proposing it was leaked last month . Amalia Cebreiro, chairwoman of the Cremorne Resident’s Association suspects the council of trying to derail their campaign against homes being bulldozed by pretending the area is no longer under threat. The council deny the claim.
Ms Cebreiro said: “We welcome the statement but we’re very cautious. We’re extremely concerned residents may be lulled into a false sense of security. When the consultation was launched (last month) it didn’t mention the Cremorne Estate - it just gave the choice between ‘Chelsea West’ or the fire station site, or no station at all - yet they’ve known about this for a year. We still don’t know exactly know what the ‘Chelsea West’ area is, how many homes would have to be knocked down. We want an official confirmation that the Cremorne Estate and surrounding area is no longer being considered.”
Ms Cebreiro called for the boundaries of the ‘Chelsea West’ area to be published, a parliamentary inquiry into why it took the leaked letter for residents and MP Greg Hands to discover Cremorne Estate was threatened and for the council to correct wording in its statement. She said it is refers to a tube station rather than a regional train station which would have a much bigger impact on the area.
Mr Coleridge said in his statement the council has decided Chelsea Fire Station in Dovehouse Street would be better. It said although an area dubbed 'Chelsea West' further along the Kings Road would be closer to more people within walking distance, the fire station site would bring greater economic benefits for shops and ‘there is just too much uncertainty at present about the impact on council tenants and leaseholders’.
A council spokesman said it had asked TfL to investigate a site further west of the fire station because the idea was backed by residents in a survey last year. He added: “The council did not push for a site further west, or identify any particular site – all it did was ask TfL to investigate. TfL took up the council’s request and identified a broad location at Cremorne. Having looked at TfL’s options and having considered the latest round of public consultation, we believe that the fire station site is indeed the better option for Chelsea and we will shortly be telling TfL so in our own submission to the current consultation. It will be TfL that takes the final decision about where to build the station.”
The consultation at consultations.tfl.gov.uk/crossrail/june-2014/ closes on Friday (25). The planned line would run from Epsom in the south and Twickenham in the West to New Southgate and Cheshunt in the north.