Home Lifestyle Inside the new UK train station branded ‘ugly’ before it’s even built

Inside the new UK train station branded ‘ugly’ before it’s even built


Plans show a new upper concourse with modern curved ceilings (Picture: Sellar)

Your morning commute into Liverpool Street station could soon look very different – but not everyone has welcomed the changes.

After plans for a revamp of the East London hub were revealed, over 2,100 shared objections on the City of London Corporation’s planning portal.

The public, local authorities, Historic England and Westminster City Council all raised concerns about the project, with some branding it ‘ugly and uninspired’.

It’s not cheap either. Liverpool Street’s new look will cost £1.5billion, with part of the Victorian station being knocked down and a 20-storey tower built above the neighbouring Grade-II* listed former Great Eastern Hotel.

But property developer Sellar, MTR and Network Rail, who will be managing the upgrade, say it ‘will help London to maintain its status as a world-class city – at no cost to passengers or the taxpayer.’

Mock-ups show a new upper concourse with futuristic curved white ceilings, along with more lifts and escalators to improve the station’s step-free access.

Objectors have called designs ‘uninspired’ (Picture: Sellar)
Step-free access will be improved as part of the revamp (Picture: Sellar)
The transformation to the UK’s busiest station will cost £1.5billion (Picture: Sellar)

One objector, Victoria Blackie, called the proposal ‘bland concrete and steel,’ adding: ‘Too many interesting buildings have already gone, you are ruining the character and heritage of our capital city and changing it into a boring, faceless place that could be in any country or town.’

The most controversial part of the transformation, however, is the tower.

Documents suggest the glass structure will feature offices, a hotel space, and luxury amenities like a swimming pool.

Liverpool Street currently looks like this, having last been updated in the 1980s (Picture: Getty Images)

It was slammed by Westminster Council for obscuring the view of St Paul’s Cathedral and by Hackney Council for representing ‘substantial harm’ to the neighbouring area.

As of March 25, just 29 responses were in favour of the scheme compared to 2,154 objections, including Luke Christodoulou who referred to it as an ‘ugly and uninspired’ design which wasn’t ‘worthy of standing in the place of a historic building.’

He continued: ‘This new plan seeks to replace all of that with white walls, modern curves and the greatest insult: a boring glass block entirely devoid of character squatting on top.’

This 20-storey tower has caused the most controversy (Picture: Sellar)
It will feature a hotel, offices and a swimming pool (Picture: Sellar)

Another commenter, Pascal Dubois-Pelerin, said: ‘The proposed entrance and office towers are grossly out of place in all respects: mass, location, design and style. The whole thing makes a mockery of the existing buildings, particularly the listed ones, of the area, and of common sense in general.’

James Sellar, chief executive at Sellar – the firm that built The Shard – responded: ‘In the context of the number of objections received, these should be balanced against the circa 130million passenger journeys that would be improved should these essential upgrades to Liverpool Street station be approved.’

City planning officers are expected to make a decision on next steps towards the end of the year. If the committee approves, building work could begin as soon as 2025 and be completed by 2029.

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