MPs to debate future of Beam Park station
- Credit: Alastair Lockhart LDRS
Members of Parliament will debate the future of Beam Park station next week.
Planned as part of a £1billion regeneration scheme including 3,000 homes on the border of Havering and Barking and Dagenham, it is unclear whether the station will ever be built.
Jon Cruddas, MP for Dagenham and Rainham, announced today that he had secured a Westminster Hall debate on the issue next Tuesday, January 11.
Westminster Hall debates do not take place in the Commons chamber and do not result in a vote, but give MPs an opportunity to raise issues of importance and receive a response from a government minister.
Havering Council say the Beam Park station cannot be completed without support from the government, but the Department for Transport wants to be held immune from the project’s financial risks.
Mr Cruddas had written to the DfT last autumn to seek assurances and was told in response that the government had never given its support to the station project.
Transport minister Chris Heaton-Harris wrote that the Greater London Authority (GLA) – which took over the redevelopment scheme from Havering Council in 2018 – had been told as early as 2017 that government approval for the station was needed.
The GLA has committed £43million to the station build and a spokesperson for London mayor Sadiq Khan has previously called the DfT's decision not to support the project "extremely disappointing".
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City Hall has offered a ten-year indemnity to protect the government against any operational deficit but Mr Heaton-Harris has said this needs to be unlimited in time and cost.
The uncertainty over plans for the station has left residents, who began moving into homes at Beam Park in 2020, considering legal action.
Last month Havering Council withdrew its compulsory purchase order on land it had planned to develop around the site.
Mr Cruddas said: “The station is essential to making a success of the Beam Park housing development and to fulfilling the promises made to residents who have bought homes there.
“The station is also key to unlocking other housing schemes along the A1306 towards Rainham.”