More plans to turn tube station car parks into homes have been shown off – this time at Arnos Grove station on the Piccadilly line.

The station itself is one of Charles Holden’s designs, from 1932, and considered a significant work of modern architecture with its double-height circular ticket hall dominating the area. It’s been suggested widely, if unproven, that Holden’s inspiration for the station may have been Stockholm City Library, which was designed by Gunnar Asplund and visited by Frank Pick and Holden on a trip in 1930.

Despite its later adulation, and Frank Pick’s own reputation as a supporter of modern design, he was not that keen on it, and it took a lot of work to persuade him to approve the design. It has since gone on to become a design icon.

The site is also slightly unusual in that the tube station has two car parks, on either side of the ticket hall. The larger car park, to the west, is the original, which was later extended, and the smaller car park on the east was also added later.

What’s being planned is for there to be four blocks of flats built for rental, with the blocks on one side set further back so that they don’t overwhelm the Holden’s tube station.

The proposed scheme of 162 rental homes also provides 64 affordable units, 40% by habitable room, in the form of discount market rent, although how that will work will be subject to further discussions with Enfield Council.

Unsurprisingly, there are local objections to the plans to remove the car park with nearly 300 parking spaces, although TfL counters that a third of the people who currently drive to the station living within walking distance.

There is an intention to improve the bus stand in front of the tube station, although that’s not included in this planning application.

If planning approval is granted, then they expect to start construction in Spring 2021.


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  1. Melvyn says:

    I noticed there is no mention of providing step free access via lifts despite the station being open air and thus easier to provide.

  2. Maurice Reed says:

    The campaign to eliminate cars from London continues, yet more car parks eliminated.

    I can understand the drive to get rid of petrol & diesel engined vehicles but electric cars and ultimately hydrogen powered cars will be taking their place and need somewhere to park!

    • Jay Robinson says:

      The issue with cars isn’t just emissions, it’s special efficiency. And EVs still produce particulate matter from tyres, and breaks.

  3. Chris dem says:

    I live in brookdale and we already suffer from parking problems with commuters parking in our road and the surrounding roads starting from 5.30 am if this plan is approved will cause even more upset to the residents and their visitors the area is a lovely suburb of which will be ruined

  4. Doni Jones says:

    TfL are short of cash, this was the case before the COVID-19 pandemic but the long term effects have made this more pressing.

    They need to generate as much income as possible and I reckon this will include flats in car parks, selling land, higher commercial rent on land that they own and fare rises.

    I’m not a fan of this scheme but unless there are a significant objections I believe they will do everything to press on as accommodation in this commuter area will no doubt be very popular.

  5. Chris Rogers says:

    Is there anything suspect about the Stockholm influence? Pick and Holden’s famous tour of Scandinavia and the buildings they visited is documented and the link here is generally accepted?

    • ianvisits says:

      There’s no documented evidence of a link, so people look at the events and design and infer an influence, but it’s unproven.

  6. Julie Jackson says:

    There’s been , & continues to be, huge building projects of residential housing in the Arnos Grove area which puts strain on local services such as schools & the GP surgery. I was dismayed to hear of plans to build a considerable number of properties in the tube station car parks. There’s already problems with parking in the area & surely these properties would hear & feel the constant grumbling of the trains?

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