Transport for London (TfL) are considering using the only green space in Shoreditch to build a huge ventilation shaft for the proposed Crossrail 2 train route that would run north to south across the capital.
Local residents met with TfL on February 22 to voice their opinions about the shaft – as tall as a double decker bus – which could sit in Shoreditch Park.
The park is one of five areas under consideration for the shaft. Another suggestion, to locate it under Britannia Leisure Centre, was also unpopular with locals.
Councillor Guy Nicholson said at the meeting: “The best outcome for the borough is working on the premise that there would be no intervention with the park.”
TFL engineer Luke Bramwell said they “have a duty to explore all sites”. But he added: “We do understand the strength of feeling against site C [Shoreditch Park].”
“We appreciate that ventilation shafts are controversial and that the use of green space is controversial” said Gary Webb, a consultant for TFL.
“We need Crossrail 2 because of its key support for economic growth and regeneration; tubes are busier than ever.”
Local residents also said at the meeting that they felt TfL had not consulted widely enough on the plans.
Suna Shanahan, a committee member from the Tenants and Residents Association, said she had “no knowledge of any other residents or community group receiving any information about any consultation.”
Webb apologised and vowed to improve communication in the future.
Plans for an extension through Hackney in Crossrail 2 have previously been shelved which will leave Dalston as the sole station in the borough, a move which Nicholson said “wasted the potential of the borough”.
The £20bn Crossrail 2 project does not currently have funding or permission. The earliest it will be built is by 2021 which means it would run from 2030.
Transport for London undertook a consultation as to where the shaft should be located that closed on January 8. They received over 20,000 responses which they are currently analysing, and aim to respond to by summer 2016.
The other sites which are being considered are the main building of Britannia Leisure Centre, Britannia Leisure Centre Car Park and two off Eagle Wharf Road.