Network Rail’s plans for the refurbishment of the arches include damp-proofing, adding new power supplies and changing the arches that have been subdivided.
This means that when the work is over, the number of shop units in the arches will change – guaranteeing that not all shops will be able to return.
Network Rail said: “Some of the arches that have been subdivided will change as a result of the refurbishment, which will include new power supply and other improvements, and the structure behind is also going to change. This means that not all the current units will return to the same footprint.”
A planning application is needed because there will also be work on the frontage of the arches.
The cost of the refurbishment is likely to be up to £10 million.
Network Rail said: “We will be keeping our tenants informed throughout the process and we will not be giving them their six-months notice until we have planning permission and a concrete start-date. Should planning permission be granted, we would expect that to be around late summer. Work is not expected to start before at least January 2016.
“Many of our tenants in Brixton have been with us for decades and we understand that this will be a serious upheaval for them. That’s why we have spoken to them as early as we can and also provided help and advice on the next steps. We will be working with each individual occupier providing business support tailored to each of their individual requirements and working with them should they wish to return once the improvements have been completed.
“This will be a multi-million pound investment in Brixton and will provide businesses with improved premises right at the heart of the community. It’s vital that this investment matches the desire of the people of Brixton to have a vibrant mix of businesses that reflect their neighbourhood and we are committed to making that happen.”
You can read the statements from Cllr Jack Hopkins and Brixton Pound on Network Rail’s plans to evict our beloved local businesses under the arches in Brixton and Herne Hill, and more from Network Rail . You can sign the petition to stop the eviction here.