London Overground has applied for permission to build a new station near Millwall football club on a site that has provision for a station to be built there.
The station provisionally named Surrey Canal in the documents would sit just to the south of the Surry Canal Road, and when the London Overground extension through South London was opened back in 2012, provision was left for a new station to be built here, but there wasn’t enough to justify building the station itself at the time.
After some years of delays, the area is now getting the large housing development, of around 3,500 flats that have long been expected.
So although a station wasn’t built in 2012, what was constructed though was fairly substantial as they knew a station would be here eventually, so there are piled retaining walls to allow for a station concourse under the railway bridge and a platform structure to accommodate a 4-car platform, although that now needs to be extended to support 5-car trains.
The large housing development, New Bermondsey has a “grampian” clause in the approvals that the new housing can only be built if the London Overground station is also built. Although TfL has existing approval to build structures up to 5 metres above the height of the railway as part of the 2012 railway line extension, the station will be taller in places, so they’ve had to file for amended permission for the bits that poke above that height limit — mainly the platform canopy and lift shafts.
The station had been expected to be funded by a £10 million contribution from the developer, but that planning application expires next year and is not expected to be renewed, so TfL was able to secure funding from the government’s Housing Infrastructure Fund which pays for transport upgrades that can enable additional housing to be built in an area.
In this situation, an amended housing development for 3,500 homes was approved earlier this year, and as part of that, the second phase of the housing project will also include a bus stop and facilities next to the new Overground station.
The proposed station will have a ticket hall area underneath the railway, at street level, with lifts and stairs up to the platforms. The platforms will be clamped on the sides of the railway viaduct, and then have a canopy along about a quarter of the length of the platform.
Two entrances will exist. The main ticket hall on Surrey Canal Road, and a set of stairs at the south end of the platforms giving slightly quicker access to the existing residential area to the west of the railway. Similar access to the homes on the east would need further work to provide access down a steep slope, if the residents approve.
The main entrance will have two lifts, and from a close look at the schematics, it seems that there will be at least 8 ticket barriers, and one or two wide barriers, which is an indication of how busy they expect the station to be once all the housing is built.
Cycle parking is expected to be included but is not detailed at the moment. It’s within cycling distance of other Cycle Hire docking stations, although the addition of a docking station in this location would need additional funding from Lewisham Council or the property developer.
Following consultations with local people about the design aspects, a decision on whether to proceed to detailed design and delivery of the new station will be made by the end of 2021, and it’s currently expected that the new station could open in early 2025.
To support the station and the additional passengers, additional trains and upgrades to the line between Dalston Junction and Surrey Quays will be carried out under an unrelated plan to upgrade the East London Line but will have capacity benefits for the new station as well.