TfL has agreed to a deal that will see a brand new entrance built for the Elephant and Castle station, but it will remain an empty concrete box until TfL is able to afford to complete it.
There is an existing agreement with Delancey, the developer of the Elephant and Castle shopping centre site for Delancey to build an underground box for the new entrance. This is a method that’s been used before, where TfL takes advantage of a large development to improve station access by having the developer pay for and build the underground box for a station entrance, then TfL comes in afterwards and fits it out for public use, such as happened at Bank and Waterloo in recent years.
However, the agreements for Elephant and Castle had been signed before the pandemic and required TfL to commit to covering the cost of fitting out the box before Delancey started work on its side of the agreement. At the moment, TfL is not able to make that financial commitment, and in theory, that meant the legal agreement for the developer to build the underground box might not be enforceable.
Everyone locally wants the new entrance, including the developer, so TfL and Delancey have agreed to amend the agreement and split it into two phases — the first is building the box and tunnels, and the second to come later is the fit-out works.
That however requires a change to the Section 106 Agreement that was agreed with Southwark Council. TfL says that talks between the parties are supportive, so it’s likely that this will be a simple formality to make the change.
Delancy will build the huge concrete box for the new station entrance, while TfL will build the connecting tunnels — with the cost for the tunnels paid for by existing third-party funding agreements. All told, this will cost just under £94 million. But so far, won’t have cost TfL anything. Then once all this is built, which is expected to be in 2027, unless TfL has the funding, the whole site will be locked up and left empty until TfL can afford the fit-out costs of turning it into a functioning station.
When it opens, it will replace the existing Northern line ticket hall and will also include space for three more escalators to be added later down to the Bakerloo line extension, when that is eventually built.
A meeting of TfL’s Programmes and Investment Committee will debate the plans next week.