Weaver House, the earth opens

continued from part 2

Get ready for a torrent. Just a little more scratching at the ground and it’s a total urban planning dam bursting.

One of the first hits for “Weaver House” at the Google was the local councilor’s weblog. Louise Alexander writes in February 2005

It (the East London Line) will rise up from the ground just north of Allen Gardens to join the viaduct where it will join Bishopsgate Goodsyard station. The trains will be in the back garden of Weaver House, which will lose its isolated place in one corner of the park. Spitalfields City Farm will lose half its ground, primarily where its famed greenhouses are situated. Access to Weaver House will be on a new road from Vallance Road, rather than via Pedley Street.

So that’s how Crossrail could demolish the three bridges leading to Weaver House .. by adding a new road leading east. Apparently my friends aren’t going to be living just off Brick Lane for much longer.

crossrail

Next are two letters to Parliament. The first letter from the Housing Association that owns Weaver House, filing a complaint about the “Pedley Street Worksite”, a temporary tunnel and shaft, out of which Crossrail excavation materials will be transported by a new conveyer, built on the old railway directly in front of Weaver House. Construction and use of the temporary tunnel will be over 40 months. Slightly understated, the new works “will cause a major increase in the levels of rail and road traffic, noise and dust” and TfL have calculated that “tenants at Weaver House will need to be re-housed for a period of 5-8 months”. At other times, “tenants would face great discomfort and disconvinience”. Concurrently, the new East London Line construction would run behind Weaver House, and operate 24 hours a day for two and half years. 30 lorries per day are expected to be entering and leaving the site during the peak phase. Mostly the owners seemed concerned that they might be responsible for re-housing tenants during this time.

The letter finishes with a quaint

Your Petitioners Therefore Humbly Pray your Honourable House that the Bill may not pass into law as it now stands.

Yet humble prayer doesn’t seem out of place.

pedley-street-worksite-photo

Even more staggering is the impact on Felix Frixou, who, by judgement of public inquiry, “lives at the worst affected property along the entire ELLX (East London Line Extension) route.” At the end of construction, he’d live with a “full live train service running 3.5 meters from bedroom windows and the rails about 1.5 meters above ground level”. From TfL, he simply asks for costs to relocate.

So basically my friends have just moved into the middle of the biggest construction project in London over the next five years.

pedley-street-worksite

Might be good to check in with Crossrail to see what they have to say on Weaver House. And they have a lot to say! Baseline noise and vibration reports, Environmental Statements, Construction Planning Reports, Technical Notes.

That building in the center, in front of the giant hole, is Weaver House. TfL and Crossrail admits that Weaver House will experience “significant impacts”.

In all appearances, Crossrail simply imagined Weaver House falling into a hole. Without any power of eminent domain, they simply barreled ahead, filing environmental impact reports, monitoring noise, and ignoring the impending terrible freaking experience for the people living there. How they could not have simply approached Weaver House with an offer of relocation is baffling; perhaps the sensible thing would be “bad precedent”.

Tomorrow, it’s all too much actually, but should it be