Page last updated at 14:37 GMT, Friday, 13 November 2009

Soho shops make way for Crossrail

Soho shops make way for Crossrail

Dozens of shop owners in Soho, central London, must quit their buildings by next week to make way for Crossrail.

The 84 landlords around Tottenham Court Road station must vacate their premises by 18 November for the £16bn scheme.

The buildings in part of Oxford Street and Dean Street will be demolished to enable the station to be extended.

Restaurant owner Domenico Savarese says he has lost his "certain future". A Crossrail spokesman said compensation was offered to all those affected.

The rail scheme is due to link Maidenhead in Berkshire to Shenfield in Essex, via Heathrow airport and central London, by 2017.

Under the scheme Tottenham Court Road station will become both an Underground station and a Crossrail station.

The compulsory purchase of 13 Tottenham Court Road buildings, including music venue The Astoria, took place last year.

'Emotionally hard'

The remaining buildings were bought by Crossrail in August, when landlords were given three months to leave.

Mr Savarese has run Spaccanapoli pizzeria on Dean Street for 16 years.

He said: "We haven't found anywhere else to go yet. It is not only the financial disruption but also emotionally it is very hard."

Mr Savarese added: "Our certain income, our certain future is gone.

"I can only say one word - we are very sad and very uncertain about the future, for me and for 24 staff, too."

A spokesman for Crossrail said the buildings' demolition had been planned since the Crossrail Act gained Royal Assent in July 2008.

"All those with an interest in the properties were able to object," he said.

Landlords have been offered 90% of their "assessed property value" in compensation, he added.

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