Crossrail 2 ‘vital to fixing housing crisis’ say developers

Giant infastructure project will 'give housebuilders the certainty they need'

Some of the biggest names in property and construction have joined forces to hammer home the importance of Crossrail 2 in solving London’s housing problems.

More than 60 developers, housing associations and industry bigwigs have written to the Chancellor, Transport Secretary and Communities Secretary, beseeching the Government to give the project its full backing.

Signed by the bosses of British Land, Grosvenor, Berkeley Group and all of the major housing associations, the open letter explained how the new railway will “transform transport capacity” and connectivity across underdeveloped areas of the capital and in turn “give housebuilders the certainty they need to accelerate the development of up to 200,000 new homes urgently needed to help address the housing shortage across London and the South East”.

Tony Pidgley CBE, Chairman, Berkeley Group: “Crossrail 2 is a fantastic opportunity to improve London and the South East’s infrastructure, and will help us build the homes this region desperately needs. It will unlock areas of huge potential, such as the Upper Lea Valley, and we will look to these areas to meet the demand for housing. Crossrail 2 is the only scheme that can make a significant difference to the South East’s housing stock and the Government must not delay.”

Craig McWilliam, Chief Executive of Grosvenor Britain & Ireland: “Grosvenor is in the heart of the West End, transforming its London estate. The West End needs to work harder for its communities and all Londoners with new investment. The case for Crossrail 2 is strong, the benefits are national and the opportunity should be taken. With it, private-sector investment would follow, delivering new homes, new jobs and the best public spaces.”

Stephen Howlett, Peabody Chief Executive: “The right transport infrastructure is essential if we are to boost the supply of desperately needed new homes in the capital. Crossrail 1 and the extension of the Docklands Light Railway will unlock 20,000 new homes at Thamesmead in South-East London and Crossrail 2 would have a similarly transformative effect across London. As well as boosting housing supply, Crossrail 2 will create jobs and drive London’s economy. We hope the project will get the go ahead in the very near future. “

Melanie Leech, Chief Executive of the British Property Federation: “Crossrail 2 will stimulate regeneration up and down its route from the Solent to the Wash, opening sites for new housing and employment. A swift decision from Government on Crossrail 2 would provide a vote of confidence for our industry as we support most, if not all, UK economic activity, through our provision of homes, offices and commercial space.”

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan: “It’s no secret that London and the South East need new homes, and the government can clearly show its long-term commitment to tackling the housing crisis by backing Crossrail 2. Key homebuilding and property leaders are clear that this vital project will unlock areas across the region and bring up to 200,000 new homes where they are desperately needed.  It’s time for the government to take note of the huge transport, economic and housing benefits, and give us the go ahead to progress.”

Here’s the letter…

Dear Chancellor,

We want to see a government commitment to progress Crossrail 2 without delay. The project is vital for us to unlock capacity for new, good-quality homes, offices and other commercial uses that are urgently needed across London and the South East.

We see Crossrail 2, half of which will be directly funded by London, as a key boost to our collective efforts to tackle the housing crisis. It will transform transport capacity and connectivity for underdeveloped areas of the capital, such as the Upper Lea Valley, giving the certainty needed to accelerate the development of up to 200,000 new homes. Many of these new homes will be in the capital, with 30 per cent outside London supporting regional employment centres like Cambridge and Portsmouth.

With a green light for the project to move to the next phase, we will seize the opportunities Crossrail 2 presents through greater transport capacity, new connections and improved links from Hampshire to Cambridgeshire and beyond. We urge the Government to give the scheme its firm backing now so that Crossrail 2 can move ahead with certainty.

Yours sincerely,