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Thameslink 2000 Inspector's Report 2006

17.2.Response by Network Rail

Farringdon

17.2.1. Many of the London Borough of Islington's concerns, including those relating to Finsbury Park have been resolved by agreed planning conditions included in PEMS and amendments to the existing agreement between Islington and Railtrack . The Council has no objection to applications TL1, TL10, TL18 and TL22. The closure of Thameslink Pentonville Road Station is being pursued but does not form part of the Thameslink 2000 application. Any associated matters should be pursued under the closures procedure and whilst Network Rail accepts responsibility for signage to stations, the upkeep of lighting and pavements remains the responsibility of the highway authority .

17.2.2. At Farringdon it would be for Crossrail to accommodate any additional passenger volumes. A note indicates that capacity studies conclude that the proposed stations would be adequate to cope with demand at the busiest times of day. The proposed interchange arrangements would be no more onerous than currently but the Thameslink design does not preclude an eventual sub-surface interchange. Ticket inter-availability would be provided between the gatelines. The combined effects from concurrent construction have been assessed and a condition addressing the matter is included in PEMS. This addresses the concerns of City Heritage Society in respect of Farringdon. It is considered that English Heritage's concerns at Farringdon have been met.

King's Cross Lands/Belle Isle

17.2.3. The objection by the London Borough of Camden, Exel, English Heritage, LCR & LCSP and URNto Plots 19 and 20 has been satisfied by Network Rail's agreement to exclude the plots from the Order .

17.2.4.LCR, LCSP, URN, Camden and the Cally Rail Group all object to the inclusion of Plots 33-35 in Camden in the Order. It has not been possible to develop a joint feeder station with the CTRL project due to the disparity in timescales and CTRL has submitted an application. Thameslink is therefore examining future power requirements of other parts of the rail network as well as Thameslink. To this end other sites in the area that might be more suitable are being investigated. However, until an alternative site is identified and secured the Order should not be amended. A condition as sought by Cally Rail Group is not necessary. If the land were to be used the agreement of Islington and the Cally Rail Group would be necessary to vary the existing Agreement and Assurance. The objection of LCR, LCSP & URN is being resolved by an Undertaking with co-operation from DfT and Camden has withdrawn its objection.

Blackfriars

17.2.5.English Heritage has no objections in relation to the applications and proposals at Blackfriars.LAMAS objects to the footbridge across Queen Victoria Street. However, although the design has been amended, the Corporation of London considers it appropriate. There is no basis to differ from the recommendation following the first Inquiry that planning permission and listed building consent be granted. The same applies to the development of the design for the canopy over the rail bridge. A contribution would be made towards a scheme for permanent at-grade crossings throughout the area and the station would be fully accessible to mobility impaired persons.

17.2.6.Colin Maugham also has concerns about the canopy and the Black Friar Public House but the architects have adhered scrupulously to the principles and guidelines in PPG15. The objections of the City Heritage Society are also noted. Whilst the Dean & Chapter of St Paul's maintain their objection, Network Rail's position also remains unchanged and there is no reason to alter the recommendation made following the first Inquiry.

17.2.7. The closure of Blackfriars Underground Station for 24 months, a concern of the Friends of the County of Surrey is required on safety grounds. The provision of platforms on the Waterloo and City line would be likely to take longer than the proposed works and would vastly increase the engineering difficulty, environmental impact and costs for no significant transport benefit. The closure of King's Cross Thameslink was raised at the first Inquiry and there is no change in circumstances that would justify a different conclusion to that reached by the Inspector in the subsequent report. The present and future use of Norwood Junction is a matter for the south east region of Network Rail and the relevant Train Operating Companies and is beyond the scope of the Thameslink 2000 project.

17.2.8. The concerns of Hammersons are being resolved by Agreement. The concerns of Bridge House Estates would be met by conditions attached to any permission. The concern of Trinity House Lighthouse Service is unfounded as proposals marking any marine works are being developed in consultation with the Port of London Authority.

17.2.9. In response to the objection of Ruth Smallacombe, the use of PEMS would control and minimise as far as reasonably possible any effects due to noise and dust during construction. There would be no change in the levels of operational train noise which is in any event not the dominant noise source. The new public address system would be the subject of a planning condition and noise from it experienced at adjacent residential properties would be no greater than from any simultaneous noise source. Closure of the river side walk is recognised as a significant inconvenience but there is no practicable alternative.

Borough Market

17.2.10.English Heritage considers the design of the proposals at Borough Market appropriate for their settings and raises no objections. Although LAMAS objects to the viaduct and replacement buildings it is not specific as to why they are considered unsatisfactory. In response to Colin Maugham, the architects have adhered to the principles set down in PPG15. The Trustees of Borough Market support the Market Hall design (TL29) but Network Rail believes that planning permission should be granted for both applications for replacement buildings at 16-26 Borough High Street. The opportunity to open up clear or improved sightlines to the Cathedral as suggested by the Cathedrals Fabric Commission is considered in Network Rail's main case.

17.2.11.Roger Airey, Nicola Brooker and Darwood Management Limited t/a Snappy Snaps are concerned about the impact of demolition in the Borough Market area but the proposals are essentially unchanged from those previously examined at the first Inquiry following which the Inspector recommended no change be made to the Order and that the objections should be no impediment to the grant of planning permission.

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