Author: Cyril Richert
Removing the Victoria signalling functions at Clapham Junction is underway, which could pave the way for Network Rail to redevelop the plot along with the adjoining Boots’ site that they acquired in 2018.
Network Rail has written to local residents in Clapham Junction to let them know that they have started the next phase of their Victoria Re-signalling project. They will install new signalling equipment, laying new cables, pilling foundations and delivering materials and equipment, notably between Clapham Junction and Streatham Common.
The major project (£160m investment) aims at upgrading and replacing life expired signalling equipment on the South London lines into London Victoria and should be completed by 2025. It involves concentrating all signalling control of the area to a new state-of-the-art operating centre in Three Bridges, near Crawley.
It specifically means that the Power Box built in 1980 in Clapham Junction as the Victoria Area Signalling Centre will move to the new Rail Operating Centre at Three Bridges.
The investment will give passengers a more reliable service once completed, with an uplift in train services between Clapham Junction and London Victoria in the future (learn more about the project HERE).
Network rail project for the site, including Boots
Whether it involves removing completely the building at Clapham Junction, needs to be confirmed.
Although, according to our information, Boots wishes to stay in the premises, it would not be the first time that a big retailer is ousted for developer’s projects (remember Homebase, B&Q or Debenhams). The 2025 Network Rail project seems also to coincide rather well with the end of the 25 year lease to Boots UK Limited on 6th May 2024.
A high-level feasibility and massing study (dated October 2016) was presented in 2018, mostly in order to value the site, as we guessed at the time.
Boots Clapham Junction occupies a 0.77 acre site situated on Falcon Lane situated a few metres to the east of Clapham Junction railway station (where Network Rail has got ambitious plans for redevelopment). The site is bounded by Lidl to the west, which is still awaiting for its redevelopment (permit has been granted in September 2017), and Asda to the east. Planning permission for the erection of a single storey retail unit was originally granted in March 1998 (ref. N/98/0041).
It does not mean that we will see immediate change after 2025 as Network Rail could of long-term plan to fit the site within their larger master plan including a redevelopment of the station and changes after the completion of Cross Rail 2. The site could be an ideal temporary location for storage, material and work facilities in the meantime.
- See our article: Concept proposal unveiled for the full redevelopment of Clapham Junction station and wider area
You can read other details and speculations on the future of the area on the excellent article published on Lavender-Hill.uk.