Westminster City Council has revealed plans for a new public square and called for a replacement venue for the Astoria today as part of six planning briefs it has approved for Crossrail construction sites in London’s West End.

The council’s planning sub-committee today approved six planning briefs for the Crossrail construction sites at Bond Street, Paddington and Tottenham Court Road which will be incorporated into official local planning policy.

The planning briefs outline the council’s aspirations for each of these three areas and provide an indication of future development that would be permitted for the oversite development above the Crossrail stations.

New public piazza
Plans for Tottenham Court Road include revamping the junction of Tottenham Court Road and Charing Cross Road with new development above the station including a public piazza to replace the former fountain next to Centrepoint.

The new piazza outside Centrepoint will be constructed as part of the £1bn investment at Tottenham Court Road station by Transport for London and Crossrail that will upgrade the capacity of the Tube station and deliver a new Crossrail station.

The council said it also ‘insists’ that a new cultural and music venue with a minimum 250 seat capacity replaces the Astoria once construction of the revamped Tube and new Crossrail station is complete.

Responsibility for submitting planning applications for a replacement venue or for oversite developments rests with the site owners.

Revamped Oxford Circus

Work has already started on a £5m diagonal crossing at Oxford Circus, which is inspired by the famous crossing in Tokyo's fashion and entertainment district Shibuya, and is on track to open in four months.

The revamped Oxford Circus crossing is being funded jointly by The Crown Estate, which owns Regent Street in its entirety, and Transport for London, with the support of Westminster City Council and the New West End Company which represents businesses in Bond Street, Oxford Street and Regent Street.

There has already been a £2m upgrade of Marble Arch completed earlier this year and more than half a kilometre of both Regent Street and Oxford Street are being redesigned with wider pavements and new lighting .

Cllr Alastair Moss, chairman of the planning sub-committee, said: ‘The West End is undergoing a transformation which will ensure its success for generations to come and it is vital as part of this that the admittedly rather 'shabby' eastern end of Oxford Street is also radically improved.

‘Crossrail has handed us a unique opportunity to complete the transformation of Oxford Street due to these station development sites and will enable the creation of an impressive new gateway at the eastern end of Oxford Street as well as improvements around Bond Street station to complement Marble Arch to the west and the Oxford Circus diagonal crossing.'

When it opens in 2017, Crossrail will be the largest addition to the transport network in London and the South East for 50 years and will significantly improve access to the West End with new stations at Bond Street and Tottenham Court Road.