Buildings between Gresse Street and Rathbone Place in Fitzrovia could be demolished to make way for surface works when another railway tunnel under central London is built. Maps produced by Transport for London as part of a consultation for “safeguarding proposals” for Crossrail 2 show an area where possible sites of stations, ventilation shafts and emergency exits could be built.

Map of underground rail route.
A shaded area and line around buildings in Gresse Street and Rathbone Place means the area could be used for surface works.

On one of the maps (pictured) a shaded area and a line is drawn around buildings on the lower part of Rathbone Place including part of Great Portland Estates Rathbone Square development, and around Gresse Street including the Fashion Retail Academy as well as Derwent London’s recently built Charlotte Building.

Are of surface interest is shown within the blue shaded area.

The area of surface interest also includes the former Nickelodeon Studios building Rathbone Place which was occupied by the squatting campaign group the Love Activists until recently. The squatters were evicted earlier this week.

Crossrail 2 would connect south west London with north east London and also Surrey and Hertfordshire. Like Crossrail the central section will be in a tunnel. If approved in the future it would not see public service until at least 2030.

In neighbouring Soho the Curzon Cinema is threatened with demolition as part of plans for a ticket hall for Crossrail 2. Soho Square is also marked a site where surface works could take place.

Fitzrovia News did contact Transport for London for an explanation about what is proposed at Rathbone Place and Gresse Street but we have not yet had a response.

The safeguarding consultation closes on 28 January 2015. See for more information.

Update 29 January 2015. Michèle Dix CBE, TfL’s managing director of planning, said:

“Safeguarding the Crossrail 2 alignment seeks to protect the route from further development which would prevent the line from being built. This safeguarding has been carefully planned to ensure that disruption to existing businesses and residents is kept to the minimum possible. It doesn’t give permission for the line to be built. Many more steps are required.

“Parts of Gresse Street and Rathbone Place have been identified in the safeguarded route as ‘in the area of surface interest’ as they are potential sites to access and will help us build a station at Tottenham Court Road. We will do further work to develop more detailed proposals showing exactly what is required and consult on these later in the year. We will continue to work with Camden Council, local residents and businesses to ensure local impacts are kept to an absolute minimum.”

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