It’s taken a while – but plans may finally be getting rolling to create the second entrance to Queenstown Road station. The Battersea Exchange development that’s funding it has been finished for some years now, and we have been writing the occasional post about it for some time – but nothing happened on the station works. They essentially mean a new entrance will be created at the back of the station building (which is the one outlined yellow in this photo) –
It was designed to improve transport access to the new flat, so residents can get to the station without having to walk along busy and traficky section of Queenstown Road. It links the station more directly to the school in the development and Patcham Terrace, which is currently a rather isolated near-dead-end road where the small shops and offices under the railway arches have been slow to let. The plans will also allow passage through the station (during opening hours) for non-ticketholders, which means people heading from (say) the Shaftesbury estate can ‘cut the corner’ by going through the foyer of Queenstown Road (shown in yellow below) and get through to Battersea Park station.
After a very long silence, where we really wondered if the development would ever proceed – a new planning application has just been submitted, updating the original plans for the works (which go all the way back to 2014!) to current railway standards. Specifically, application number 2022/1325 includes the planned layouts, and a new entrance leading on to Patcham terrace – pictured below.
These works are the final connection in the overall masterplan for the Battersea Exchange development, whose construction ran from early 2015 to December 2020. It’s also the last of the ‘Section 106’ obligations for the developers – the things they agree to fund in the surrounding area as part of the development – before they can finally sign off on what has proved a pretty successful project overall, with a very efficient use of the land around the viaducts that seems to have sold well and which brought all sorts of unusual little plots of railway land back in to productive use.
There has been a little bit of cost-cutting along the way: the original plans included a wheelchair lift to handle the change in levels, which is no longer being included (so wheelchair users will need to keep using the Queenstown Road exit). We understand this is an ask from National Rail rather than cost cutting by the developers, TaylorWimpey – ostensibly to make the staircase wide enough, but one could maybe imagine it’s also designed to keep maintenance costs down. On the plus side, there’ll be a new disabled-accessible WC, which will be linked from the station foyer.
A few other minor changes are being made compared to the initial plans, including not bothering to have a door at the bottom of the stairs (which seems fairly sensible – bearing in mind that the station is pretty much open air anyway and there’ll be a security gate at the top of the steps). A small glass shelter will be included at the bottom of the steps to keep rain out of the station building. The floorplan diagram below shows the new access route in yellow (with Queenstown Road entrance at the bottom of the photo), and the new Patcham Terrace entrance at the top.
Given that a series of very similar plans have already been approved over the years none of this is likely to be controversial from a planning perspective – but because the whole of the station (including the scruffy and little-seen rear yard) is a listed building, the finer details matter and a new planning application is needed before works can start. This photo shows the currently-rather-messy back yard of the station as it is now, as seen from the new road Patcham Terrace (i.e. the right hand side of the yellow square in the map above). The new entrance will be at the back left, which means opening up a new door in the building. There’s a bit of a height change as well (about ten steps).
This photo shows the current ticket hall – the new way through will emerge where the left hand white door is now, just to the left of the ticket machines.
Precise timings for the works are still uncertain – but the fact that updated plans have gone in (again) is a good sign that the project is not completely forgotten, and still on track to happen at some point. As a relatively cheap project with obvious benefits for Taylor Wimpey’s development (making it have rather better access, especially for the new office and retail units), and some benefits for Network Rail in terms of general station access, it seems likely that this will now go ahead.