Initial plans have been revealed for a £1.55 billion redevelopment of Liverpool Street station that would see it become a two-level station with a much larger entrance built next to the tube station.

The station is the third busiest in the UK and has significant overcrowding problems which are expected to worsen over future years. To deal with this, Network Rail is looking at fixing by adding a lot more floor space for people to wait in, while also improving access into the station.

In a normal year, around 70 million people use Liverpool Street Station, not far off what Heathrow Airport handles in a much larger space, and even after the pandemic induced changes to commuting, numbers are still expected to rise due to increasing amounts of housing developments along the Greater Anglia eastern route.

The plans being tentatively outlined involve a deal with The Shard and Paddington Square developer, Sellar Property Group, and will see the building next to the southern entrance to the mainline station, which is currently occupied by McDonald’s on the ground floor demolished to create the new double-width entrance to the railway station.

Inside the station, the proposals would see the construction of a new two-level station concourse with greatly increased circulation space, and while details are currently at a very early stage, it’s likely that such redevelopment would involve changing the entrance to the tube station as well.

Costs to complete the overall project are currently estimated on a very preliminary basis to be in the order of £1.55 billion. To help fund all this, the existing Andaz hotel on the corner of Liverpool Street station, which is currently owned by Network Rail would be sold to and redeveloped by a joint venture lead by the Sellar Property Group, along with a new office building and “associated ancillary facilities”.

The proposed redevelopment will also improve the presence and efficient permeability and accessibility of the main southern entrances by removing 50 Liverpool Street — the “McDonalds building” — and remodelling the South Eastern Entrance. Although 50 Liverpool Street looks like a good Victorian building, it’s actually a 1990s redevelopment to replace a similar-looking Victorian building that used to be on the site. Other than the reuse of the bricks and its appearance, the bulk of the building is barely 30 years old.

The current indicative date for an award of construction contracts is January 2023, so it’s possible that a planning application with the final details will be issued late next year.

Although not directly related to this project, Liverpool Street station also has another project to improve access, and that’s on the other side of the station where there’s a protected corridor under the offices to allow for an additional two tracks to be added to the railway in the future to reduce delays getting trains in and out of the station.

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32 comments
  1. Chris says:

    BR saved a Victorian Gothic building, painstakingly rebuilt with the original materials and still a listed structure – it’s not some modern pastiche. This is a blatant money grab and should be fought all the way.

    • ianVisits says:

      It’s not a listed structure, and it’s just a steel building with a replica facade around the outside. Looks nice, but candidly, it had less historical significance than even a facade building, where at least the facade is original.

    • Charles says:

      If the building or facade was actually rebuilt ‘as it was’ then as you say it is of historic significance and not just a pastiche or post modernist folly. On the other hand the new entrance at London Bridge Station facing Tooley Street which involved the demolition of some Victorian buildings actually adds to the urban landscape.

  2. Melvyn says:

    Given the location of this site the redevelopment needs to include step free access to the westbound sub surface Circle , Hammersmith and City and Metropolitan lines and to the Central Line from the entrance next to this site. All this was missing from Crossrail but we surely don’t want to loose another opportunity!

    There are many buildings where the outside is older than the inside !

  3. Gareth says:

    Really???, there are far more deserving station causes to be updated or even opened in the first place. Lots of communities crying out for better facilities, start by making every station wheelchair friendly.

    • Melvyn says:

      This would no doubt get funding from the developers so nothing to stop other parts of the country adopting local funding to develop stations

    • Steve says:

      Indeed….. this must be the ” levelling-up ” we keep hearing about!…

  4. Dan Coleman says:

    Liverpool Street has always been busy but I’ve never felt that it was struggling with capacity. Even before the pandemic, the only time it felt strained was when trains were delayed; more of a problem with GA than the station itself.

    The entrance onto Bishopsgate is in dire need of more circulation space though, I’d welcome a complete redesign there. Most importantly of all though, whatever shall the drunk folk of Essex do if we can’t get a cheeseburger at 1am?

    Odd choice for redevelopment!

    • Gee says:

      The drunk folk of Essex as you so charmingly put it, will do the same as the drunk folk of Norwich and Ipswich did when GA took away their old ‘pub’ carriages on updating their stock – adapt!

  5. Alistair Twiname says:

    I wonder if they are expecting crossrail to increase or decrease the footfall.. I mean it gives a lot of opportunity for people to avoid liverpool st now.. either by using moregate or by staying on to barbican or whereever rather than transferring to the circle.

    It’s slightly annoying that the broadgate redevelopment wasn’t used as an excuse to deal with much of the problems here.

    • ianVisits says:

      The Elizabeth line will, at most reduce traffic to the upper level platforms by no more than 10%.

    • Phil says:

      Crossrail only helps users of the Shenfield metro service! It does NOTHING to help with the West Anglia and London Overground routes or Grater Anglia services out to Southend, Clacton, Ipswich and Norwich all of which will see significant increases due to large scale housing developments in Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire.

  6. Michael says:

    Ian, according to this planning document, the building is indeed listed: https://democracy.cityoflondon.gov.uk/documents/s85955/Liverpool%20Street%20Report.pdf

    Furthermore, this building was the subject of a campaign against demolition in the 1970s by Sir John Betjeman and Sir Spike Milligan, which resulted in the rebuilding of the building using the original materials, resulting in the listed status, rather than the wholesale demolition akin to which is being proposed now. Demolition of this building would be similar in demolition of St Pancras Station after the campaign to protect that.

    • ianVisits says:

      If you check with Historic England, who manage the listings, they show it as not being listed.

  7. Michael says:

    Would this not be included as the gothic style offices in this listing: https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/list-entry/1286133

  8. Peter Armand says:

    Should reconnect the Circle line which had a connection to 1904 to platforms one and two. Trains could run to Chestnut or Stanstead

  9. Mohammed says:

    I work at Liverpool Street retail units does this mean i will be relocated too different store

  10. Bill Smith says:

    I don’t think they have any chance what so ever demolishing 50 Liverpool Street. The facade is original (albeit rebuilt), and I think that’s what is important. It’s the last remaining piece of history from the original station. How sad it would be to no longer have any trace left of its Victorian roots.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liverpool_Street_station#/media/File:Liverpool_Street_Station_1896.jpg

  11. ian Saxton says:

    I shudder to think what the replacement will look like given recent developments in the City. I expect it will be another semi opaque glass box
    with some pathetic ‘vertical gardens’; this seems to be the latest fad to get more bland ‘anywhere’ development built. This is heart breaking given that what is there now was a product of such a hard won victory of civic pride over commercial greed.

    • JP says:

      Yes, it’s about time that we brought back Victorian twirly bits. With the caveat that as long as we don’t have to do so indoors with all those dust-gathering gewgals.
      Who’ll be the first ‘civic’ to dare to show ‘pride’ in their area? Just watch out for accusations of ‘pride washing’ or whatever it might be called by then.

  12. Roger Sweet says:

    Waterloo Station needs a new building first or extensive redevelopment with a grand Hotel as St Panxras facilities with live.pianos

  13. Keith ward says:

    Main priority is accessible access to westbound net circle platforms towards kings cross, terrible steep steps seen people nearly dying getting up them with cases , this is what’s needed ASAP , I am sure there’s space at west end of platform but that would mean destroying listed signalbox

  14. Geoff says:

    The likelihood is that tfl will get something from this, step free is very possible. Look at what the same developer has to do at Paddington sq LUL. Network rail and tfl both need to upgrade their stations and neither has the money to do it. With their backing planning will be much easier to obtain

  15. Phil B says:

    Surely with some imaginative design the façade of 50 Liverpool Street could be retained while still expanding the station?

  16. JW says:

    At this initial news stage of the project, its unclear what exactly is being proposed for the south part of Liverpool Street Station and 50 Liverpool Street.

    There is certainly a large open (and historic) entrance area to the station from Liverpool Street which may be proposed to be built over in part or whole. Certainly the station went through a major renovation in the 1990s which was surprisingly sensitive and included for additions to the historic shed structure. I do not recall the work to reconstruct 50 Liverpool Street, though if it is a facsimile of the original building it was extremely well done externally. One would imagine that there was much careful agreement with the City of London and English Heritage to have done such a good project at this time. It would be crazy to demolish it and to buiild yet another bland office building in its stead. If the reconstruction resulted in a building like the Shard, then perhaps the loss would be worth it.

    Perhaps the Liverpool Street facade may be respectfully retained – I would hope so. These days though, most new-build projects aesthetically/architecturally are very disappointing, if functional, envelopes and facades, so for those who love the vibe of Victorian era rail termini in London this redevelopment news is not great. The station concourse is busy, but not overly so in my opinion, in fact the 1990s reno really did a great job in making the station more functional while working in the Victorian station heritage language and materials/elements. Adding more space at two levels is potentially functionally nice, thiough will it simply be filled with more commercial units rather than creating space to reduce people movement bottlenecks?

    In regard to listing, I would imagine that the whole station site is listed. Listing is usually of a legally defined property, and extends to the property boundaries. This does not mean that everything within the site is to be conserved, though does mean that EH or others need to review proposed alterations and demolitions etc. I imagine 50 Liverpool Street is part and parcel of the overall station listing and would therefore not be a separate and distinct listing. Given the effort and investment to conserve and rebuild(?) this element of the station in the 1990s one would expect English Heritage or whoever the heritage authority is these days to push to conserve and retain this station element, and to consult with appropriate heritage groups such as the Victorian Society – though these days EH tends to bow to the City and developers which is much less interested in architectural quality these days than it has been in the not too distant past. When one views the facade of 50 Liverpool Street, it is very fine example of mid Victorian civil gothic style architecture and appears in good condition. The loss of the facade would unfortunately be yet another loss of London’s architectural heritage.

  17. Mr B says:

    Would the two level station resemble what London Bridge is like now with 100 escalators?

  18. James Miller says:

    Since I’ve lived in De Beauvoir Town, a couple of miles North of the City for the last ten years, there have been several moves by the City of London to improve walking routes and reduce traffic. Bank Junction now has much less traffic and there have been reports, that Bishopsgate will be pedestrianised.

    Talk in this post, says that the Southern entrance of Liverpool Street station will be widened and to connect to the Bishopsgate pedestrian route, this would need a lot of rebuilding at the South East corner of the station.

    There was also talk of a cargo service for small parcels into the station which would be delivered by e-bikes and e-vans. Would the bikes need to come out of the Southern side of the station?

    I also have a cross-section from Crossrail and I think it shows that the new glass entrance in front of Broadgate gives step-free access to both Crossrail and the sub-surface lines.

    Instead of acting like nimbies and swampies we should hold our ire until we see what is being planned.

  19. harry says:

    What’s the possibility that a few hundred pounds of that £1.5 billion could be used to install more sensitive sensors on the hand dryers in the Gents?

    You only have to listen for two minutes to hear that people are having to restart them 8 times before they get their hands dry. And that’s assuming they found the incompspicuous mark that shows regulars where to put their hands. Those visiting for the first time watch in total puzzlement while everybody else manages to find dryers in random places but they can’t.

    Better still, rip them out and put back the airblades that worked much more reliably before. Noisy, but at least they’re fit for their purpose.

  20. Alan Simpson says:

    I used to work in the field of listed buildings (dealing with compulsory purchase orders for neglected listed buildings). I can confirm that a listing extends to the whole of a property, inside and out, and not just to parts of a building specifically mentioned in the official description. Listing can also cover the curtilage of a building, ie. beyond the building itself.

  21. Lizebeth says:

    Whether original or reconstructed, the Victorian facade of Liverpool Street Station should be required to remain as part of whatever redevelopment is approved. The rapacious “blanding” of the centre of London continues unabated, and the new buildings, which will last for only a few years, and which all look basically the same, are a crime against our heritage. But who speaks against developers with no vision but profit? And who speaks for aesthetics these days?

    I often used this Station pre-pandemic, and it seemed no more congested than any of the other London Stations. For the foreseeable future, it will be even less used. Why is this refurb needed, when there are so many other essential requirements, like step-free access to all?

  22. Mel says:

    This is a listing from 1975, predating the demolition of the original offices.

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