Given the scarcity of land available for large scale urban development in the UK's densely packed city centres, developers are increasingly building new schemes adjacent to or above operational railway assets. The multitude of buildings being erected around King's Cross station, the construction of various over-station developments above Crossrail stations and the redevelopment of the iconic Battersea Power Station to include buildings above the new Northern Line tube station are just a few recent examples of such developments in central London. However such projects have a unique set of challenges and pitfalls for the uninitiated.
From the developer's perspective, a successful negotiation of the relevant asset protection arrangement at an early stage of the process is key to the smooth running of the development. To mitigate as much development risk as possible a well-advised developer will seek to pass down many of its obligations in the asset protection arrangement to its construction team whilst recognising that there are some inherent limitations to this risk sharing.