A public inquiry into the £800 million expansion of the Thameslink commuter rail service is continuing amid confusion over Railtrack's choice of architect for London Bridge station.
Railtrack's Thameslink project team has commissioned Terry Farrell & Partners (AJ 20.1.00) to produce one design while its major stations department has commissioned Wilkinson Eyre Architects with TP Bennett to design a larger £400 million proposal encompassing an air rights office development,7500m ofretail space and a masterplan for integrating the bus and Tube stations.
The schemes are at odds with each other and Railtrack admitted last week that the Farrell scheme will be scrapped if the larger one is given the green light by Southwark council in the autumn.
Railtrack spokesman Kevin Groves attempted to justify the doubling up: 'With the [commercial] success of the redevelopment of Paddington we realised that if the Thameslink scheme is going to cause so much disruption, there's lots more we can do. If the TP Bennett masterplan gets the go-ahead then that will supersede the Farrell design.'
Farrell architect Satvir Mand said: 'It seems strange.
But that is an internal Railtrack matter.' He added that Terry Farrell & Partners could expand its scheme to include the whole station.
The public inquiry, which will also decide the future of station redesigns by Alsop & Stormer, Tony Meadows Architects and Pascall + Watson, entered its third week this week. It is dealing with more than 1000 letters of opposition, focusing on issues such as the need to close Moorgate Station and the compulsory purchase of houses in the Borough Market area. Railtrack's case in favour of the scheme will last four weeks while the objectors' arguments will take up nine weeks to be heard.