CROSSRAIL is taking possession of Abbey Wood gardens next week - despite no exact compensation figure being agreed for affected residents.

Abbey Grove residents received letters this month saying that, from September 16, around 31sq m of their gardens would legally belong to Transport for London so work can begin on cabling and noise barriers for the £16bn rail project.

The letter also stated that access will be gained from neighbouring homes or the railway line which their properties back on to, even if nobody is in that day.

Despite knowing the work would take place, families say they have had no support from Crossrail over the move and are facing losing their sheds and around a quarter of their gardens with no compensation yet agreed.

Caroline Lewis, 41, said: "All the people here are in the same kind of situation.
"But they've given us no indication whatsoever of how much compensation we'll be given.

"The residents are up in arms about this and we're not being told anything by Crossrail."

Ms Lewis' partner Charles Allworth is a builder who uses the concrete shed at the bottom of their garden to store tools for work. But, because of Crossrail's action, he will have to move them.

She said: "The houses here are quite small and we use our shed for storage.

"Now we're going to have to pay for other storage areas when we can't afford to.

"It really feels like we're being bullied by Crossrail."

A Crossrail spokesman said: "To enable Crossrail to serve Abbey Wood, two additional tracks need to be constructed alongside the existing North Kent Line. Unfortunately we need to take some land at the end of some residential properties which border the railway.

"We have made every effort to make sure that residents know about the land acquisition and that those who are eligible for compensation apply for it.

"Letters have been sent to all affected properties and we have attempted to visit residents on several occasions. We would urge people to complete a compensation form and anyone with queries should call the Crossrail Helpdesk on 0345 602 3813.

“Compensation claims are assessed under an impartial and independent code set out in legislation. Residents can be paid 90% of the claim as assessed by Transport for London within three months of a substantiated claim being made. Residents struggling to pay for any costs upfront have been encouraged to contact us to discuss possible solutions.

“Crossrail will help to transform the local area, dramatically improving transport links, reducing congestion on existing rail services, providing a boost to the local economy and supporting wider regeneration in south east London.”