Green light given for £50 million regeneration of Redhill Station area (From Redhill And Reigate Life)
Got a story? Call 01273 544544 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Green light given for £50 million regeneration of Redhill Station area
8:00am Wednesday 9th October 2013 in Local News
Planners have given the green light to a £50 million regeneration project to revitalise the Redhill Station area.
Reigate and Banstead Borough Council‘s Planning Committee has approved plans to modernise the town's station and deliver what has been billed as “a landmark regeneration project” on the two-hectare site.
Councillors meeting last Wednesday (October 2) heard that the multi-million station upgrade will bring substantial benefits to passengers, as well as demonstrate the importance of Redhill as a key transport hub. They were told that the station development will be the “catalyst” for further regeneration of the station quarter, which will include a Waitrose food store creating around 200 new jobs, a new public square at the entrance to the station, improved pedestrian links into the town centre, and 150 high-quality residential apartments. The scheme will include £7 million worth of what have been called “major improvements” at Redhill station.
These will include a new and spacious ticket office on the town side entrance of the station, almost twice the size of the existing space. Other improvements will include a new station entrance with improved ticketing on the Redstone Hill side of the station, a new multi-storey car park with 450 spaces dedicated for station users, more disabled parking bays, a new taxi rank and public pick-up/drop-off area, and more cycle parking spaces provided in a more accessible location to the station. The development is being promoted by Solum Regeneration, a partnership between Network Rail and Kier Property, which was set up to bring private investment into the rail network. Solum has said it hopes work will start early next year.
Natalie Bramhall, Reigate and Banstead Borough Council executive member for property and regeneration, said: “This is really fantastic news for Redhill.”
Coun Bramhall said: “The scale of investment this development will bring will give a massive boost to our town centre regeneration ambitions.
“It will vastly improve the station and the modern ticket hall, and the public plaza will make this important entrance to the town so much more attractive and welcoming for commuters and visitors. “The new homes, increased food shopping choice and the jobs it will create will be great for local people and the local economy.”
She added: “What’s more, it will act as a catalyst to attract further private sector investment into Redhill to make it a thriving and prosperous town centre.”
Tim Robinson, route managing director, Sussex, for Network Rail said: “The plans to regenerate the area around Redhill station will deliver a substantial package of improvements to the station and complement other improvements being planned by Network Rail and Southern.”
He said: “By making more of our land assets around the station, we can generate funding to improve facilities for passengers. “The station will be transformed with a new ticket office, better car and cycle parking, and a new public square to welcome visitors arriving at the town. “Passengers and local people will notice a real difference at the station when the improvements are complete.” Solum Regeneration’s director, Simon Rutter, said: “The regeneration of Redhill station is long overdue.”
Referring to the figure of 89% support for the project from those consulted, he said: “We have received overwhelming support from the local community and are delighted that the council has approved the scheme. “We look forward to continuing to work with the community and the council in delivering these improvements.” In addition to the improvements being delivered by the project, Network Rail and Southern, the train operating company, are also proposing to install a 16-person lift suitable for wheelchair access, and a pedestrian bridge to link the lift to the station subway.
Together with the improvements planned by Solum, this would provide passengers with step-free access from the station ticket office to the station platforms.
The new lift and pedestrian bridge is to be funded from the Department for Transport’s £380 million Access for All scheme, which is delivering step-free access from street to platform at around 150 stations nationwide. Southern’s head of project delivery, Pieter Wilke, said: “We are delighted that the plans for the development have been given the go-ahead. “Redhill station and the surrounding area has for many years been in need of rejuvenation and we are now going to see a real transformation for our passengers.”
He said: “Around 3.5 million journeys are made to and from the station each year and as the number of people travelling by train continues to grow, this investment in the station will pay dividends in the long-term.”
And citing the plans for the Waitrose food store with a 2,500 sq ft sales area and 193 parking spaces, Waitrose director of development, Nigel Keen, said: “We are delighted the planning committee shares our confidence that through revitalising the area around the station, we can deliver substantial benefits to Redhill, and we would like to thank all of those residents who have supported our plans.”
He said: “It's encouraging that in a challenging climate, Redhill continues to attract new investment, and we’re looking forward to playing our part in bringing new shoppers here. “In addition to delivering a quality food store, we will also be creating 200 new jobs for local people, and donating £12,000 and 250 hours per year of our staff-time to local charities and projects nominated by our customers." According to the project's planners, the 150 one and two-bedroom residential apartments included in the project will be “designed and located specifically to help people seeking the best possible work/life balance,” and “will be built to a high specification and feature carefully-designed, flexible layouts for modern living.”