Former City worker Ajit Chambers has been in touch to say that he is being partnered by a billionaire investor to make a £25m offer for the disused Brompton Road railway station in west London.
Chambers left the City to set up the Old Underground Company with a mission to make something of London’s disused Tube stations. He’s talked to various would-be partners about holding conferences, converting the stations into rock climbing venues and even holding wedding ceremonies.
In an ideal world Chambers would re-open 26 empty Tube stations, deep-level shelters and man-made caverns for the public.
He first raised the idea with the Mayor in a public meeting a couple of years ago, claiming that he could create a company with £200m turnover. Boris Johnson announced that the scheme was marvellous.
The problem he now has with Brompton Road, however, is that the station is currently not for sale, according to the Ministry of Defence (MoD).
The MoD says that all of its sites, including Brompton Road “are under review”.
“We’re reviewing the estate,” says a press person, clearly agitated by the prospect of having to answer questions about the proposed plans. “And if we do decide to sell assets they will be sold under a competitive tendering process to get the best possible price for the department.
“I’m afraid to say there’s nothing more to go forward with at this stage.”
The MoD says there have been discussions with Chambers but these were in November of last year and a second meeting was cancelled.
The station itself is sometimes used for training purposes and is therefore not “a vacant site”, says the spokesperson.
Maybe Chambers needs some help from Boris to get the project off the ground.