The London section of the Channel Tunnel Rail Link, High Speed One, has received the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson's Award for Planning Excellence at the London Planning Awards this week.
The rail link stretching from London to the north of the Thames, before heading out into Kent, incorporates the restoration and modernisation of the Grade 1 Listed St Pancras station, Stratford International Station, and the state of the art Temple Mills maintenance depot.
The project was selected because of the way that its meticulous and forward thinking planning had provided a major boost to East London and the Thames Gateway and regenerated St Pancras Station acting as a major catalyst for the wider regeneration of this run down area of north London. It has also provided the key rail link to the 2012 Games but above all has changed attitudes towards rail travel and will help transform London and the UK for many generations to come.
The annual London Planning Awards, jointly run by the Mayor of London, London First, the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) and London Councils, are designed to recognise planning professionals and organisations that have made a vital contribution to the capital in making it a better place to live, work, do business and visit.
The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said:
'I was looking forward to seeing entries that improve the quality of life for Londoners and I have not been disappointed. However, since we launched the awards, the economic climate has dramatically changed. I strongly believe that we must press ahead with planning and developing our city and particularly our major infrastructure projects to ensure London emerges from this downturn strong and competitive. And that is where our planners and designers have a major role to play so that we do not just build the functional and mundane but capture the imagination.
'My award for planning excellence to the High Speed Project recognises truly great and inspirational planning and design. The beautiful St Pancras terminus alone is a masterpiece that perfectly matches the old with the new making a wonderful statement about London's creativity and confidence to our visitors. But High Speed One is much more. It is first class planning that has changed the way we think about rail travel and will leave its mark on the capital and the whole UK throughout the 21st Century and beyond."