Construction of east London’s new Beam Park station formally delayed

Construction of east London’s new Beam Park station formally delayed

Beam Park’s housing development, which is supposed to include a new railway station, has been amended to accept the reality that the railway station is being delayed.

Beam Park station – early concept image

Beam Park is a multi-phase housing development on former industrial land in Dagenham that is now owned by the Greater London Authority (GLA) and is being developed by Countryside Partnerships.

The original agreement between the GLA and Countryside Partnerships required Beam Park station to be built early in the housing development so that the first residents to move into the estate could commute to work.

The construction of Phase 1 was completed in 2023, and Phase 2 is due to be completed later in 2024. A new hybrid planning consent was secured by Countryside in November 2023, bringing the overall number of homes from 3,000 to 3,947 (with 50 percent affordable housing).

However, negotiations between the Department for Transport (DfT) and the GLA over the station’s running costs are delaying railway station construction. A mayoral decision signed yesterday accepts that the delays in securing permission from the DfT to open the station means that it’s “prudent to delay the construction of the Ticket Hall”.

While not unexpected, it does put the stalled railway station, which has been stuck in a “will they/won’t they” limbo since 2021, formally on hold until a final decision about whether it will be built.

Several housing developments are being planned around Beam Park, with the potential for upwards of 20,000 new homes, but the DfT had expressed concerns that a new railway station at Beam Park wouldn’t have enough commuters to be financially viable.

beam park station

Beam Park site plan

The GLA has previously offered to cover the running costs for up to a decade to allow for lower passenger numbers while the housing is being built. As the housing developer and the GLA are providing the costs of building the station, and running costs are covered for a decade, it can seem difficult to fully understand what is holding up the decision to proceed with the project.

The two sides have been locked in negotiations since 2021, and a final decision is expected later this year.

Assuming that the negotiations result in a positive decision later this year and that early construction timeframes haven’t significantly altered, it’s just possible that Beam Park station could open in late 2026.

Candidly, this is in effect a free railway station, with running costs covered well into the 2030s, so whichever political party is in power next week could sign off on the station as a quick early win for the new government.

A formal decision in favour of the station will not just be a relief to the people who have already moved into the area expecting a new railway station on their doorstep, it also unlocks the planning conditions to permit more houses to be built nearby.

https://www.ianvisits.co.uk/articles/construction-of-east-londons-new-beam-park-station-formally-delayed-73473/

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