The Observer: "Left in a siding: the rail link that could make Heathrow greener"

"Airport and Department for Transport fight shy of backing new line from Staines that would slash car usage"

"Life is easy for the toads and bats of Staines-upon-Thames: the disused railway line has formed a woodland corridor that runs north towards Heathrow. Terminal 5 is just a mile or so further on as the bat flies. But to reach it from Staines station would take a hapless rail passenger almost two hours via three trains.

"That could drop to just six minutes under plans to link Staines and other parts of Surrey to the airport. Yet as Heathrow prepares for a major consultation on its third runway on Tuesday, new rail links are just an option, despite the argument that they would help tackle the airport's pollution problem. They would also be a clear answer to transport secretary Chris Grayling's call for 'market-led' proposals for new railway lines.

"As a precondition of Heathrow expansion, parliament has stipulated that the proportion of passengers travelling to and from the airport on public transport must rise from 39% to 50%."


My London: "The 'living hell' of life next to Ealing HS2 construction site - where walls shake and air pollution is soaring"

Link to web site

"Constant shaking from HS2 construction work has East Acton residents describing a 'living hell', with some fearing for the structural safety of their homes.

"One mother living on Wells House Road said the air pollution coming from the Old Oak Common site had seen her 12-year-old son hospitalised with breathing difficulties and put on oxygen, despite not having asthma.

"Meanwhile, a 155-metre-long, three-metre-high concrete retaining wall supporting many of the gardens on the road is becoming a serious safety concern, with an engineering report saying it is in poor condition, and needs shoring up."

[New train services via Old Oak Common] 'Wembley Matters': "'Full participation on Brent Cross West Station plans or we will go to law,' Capita-Barnet told"

Link to web site

"The Coalition for a Sustainable Brent Cross was formed a long time ago and consisted of several political groups, including the Green Party, Liberal Democrats and Labour politicians as well as individuals. trade councils and community organisations. It has had ups and downs as the plans ebbed and flowed but Alison Hopkins has written to Capita-Barnet, who handle the Brent Cross Thames Link project, calling for full public participation ahead of the submission of any planning application for Brent Cross West station.

"... The collapse of the car-based Brent Cross shopping centre expansion has met one of main aims of the Coalition, which has been to oppose Barnet council’s predicted 29,000 extra car journeys every day in the area. That has been opposed based on both unwanted road congestion and what is now called the global heating emergency.


South China Morning Post: "Regency Heights: connected London living without the price tag"

"Part of the UK's largest regeneration project, Regency Heights in Park Royal is a chance to invest in London's most significant new district"

Link to web site

"London has timeless appeal for overseas property buyers, and investing in the UK capital isn't only for the wealthy. Those deterred by Central London property prices can find bargains and high returns by looking west to Old Oak and Park Royal, the UK's largest regeneration area centred on one of London's major transport hubs.

"Just over 20 minutes from the city centre by road or rail, the £26 billion (HKD 267.25bn) regeneration masterplan for the district will see Old Oak Common become the only high-speed rail interchange served by both Crossrail and HS2. Improving access across London, South East England and the wider UK, this will serve to make property in the area even more sought-after and is expected to drive up prices and rents considerably in the coming years.

"This burgeoning area is already seeing high demand from high-end tenants attracted by cheaper prices than Central London. Even in the early stage of regeneration, property values for single-bed and three-bedroom apartments in NW10 increased by 56 percent from 2013 to 2018, with rent values up 13 to 17 percent over the same period. The arrival of Crossrail, HS2 and other amenities will see this price growth accelerate in the years ahead." [Unless it doesn't.]


Until 3 March 2019: "HS2 Ltd.: Old Oak Common Station design engagement"

Click to enlarge images

"The new HS2 Old Oak Common Station will help kick-start the UK' largest regeneration project, which aims to transform the former railway and industrial area, into a new neighbourhood supporting up to 65,000 jobs and 25,500 new homes.

"The new station will be built on the former Great Western Railway depot at Old Oak Common in North West London. When the high speed services start running in 2026, it will take only nine minutes to get to London Euston and 38 minutes to Birmingham Curzon Street.

"The six high-speed platforms will be situated underground with an integrated connection to the adjoining conventional station at ground level via a stylish shared overbridge providing seamless connections between HS2 and Elizabeth line (Crossrail) trains, to Heathrow and central London.

Station design so far

"The station design has been developed by engineering consultants, WSP, and architects, WilkinsonEyre, and so far it includes plans for:
  • A light and airy concourse linking both halves of the station.
  • A soaring roof inspired by the site’s industrial heritage.
  • A new public park to welcome visitors and provide a new focal point for the growing community.
  • New shops and retail spaces.
  • Seamless interchanges to other train services and alternative types of transport such as the bus, walking and cycling networks.

"You can find out more about our station design in our Old Oak Common Station Design leaflet here.

Your views on the station design

"We would like to hear your views on our design vision and the themes of the developing design for Old Oak Common Station. In particular, we would like to understand your views on our design objectives around:
  • The use of public spaces in and around the station.
  • Enabling growth and regeneration in the area.
  • Celebrating local heritage in its designs.
  • Connecting the local area.
  • Integrating into the wider Old Oak Common area.

Complete our questionnaire online or offline

"Please let us know your views by completing our online questionnaire here before midnight on 3 March 2019. Alternatively you can attend one of our five station design engagement events where you can fill in a printed questionnaire form. You can find details of when and where our engagement events are here.

"If you would like to submit a copy of the questionnaire by email or by post, you can find the printable questionnaire here and return it:
By post: FREEPOST HS2 Community Engagement
By email: HS2enquiries@hs2.org.uk
Please return the questionnaire by midnight on 3 March 2019.

"If you have any questions or comments please contact HS2enquiries@hs2.org.uk or call 08081 434 434 and refer to 'HS2 in Old Oak'."


HS2 Ltd: "Willesden’s landmark yellow cranes make way for new HS2 Rail Logistics Hub" (that's enough excitement for one day)

Link to web site

"Three huge disused yellow container cranes at Willesden, west London have been removed to make way for a major new HS2 Rail Logistics Hub to support the construction of the new high-speed line's London tunnels.

"The 22-metre high cranes, weighing up to 290 tonnes, have stood above the track next to the busy west coast mainline for almost 30 years. Each one had to be lifted up and moved 100 metres to the side, so they could be safely dismantled away from passing trains.

"The removal of the three cranes was one of the most complex engineering challenges the project has faced so far, requiring thousands of hours of planning and preparation."


TfL East-West Cycle Superhighway from Paddington to Acton: "Results Updated 22 Feb 2019"

Acton to Wood Lane
"Since the publication of the consultation report in August 2017, and after careful consideration of the consultation responses, we have decided to make some changes to the design of the Wood Lane to Acton scheme.
"A report has now been published that outlines these design changes as well as setting out other key issues we have considered including the response to specific issues raised from the consultation.
"Construction work on the route is set to begin on 18 March 2019, with the work expected to be complete by the end of the year.  We will notify everyone who may be impacted by these works before we start construction."

OPDC Local Plan: Examination in Public

"An examination will be held to consider the soundness of the OPDC Local Plan. 

"The Secretary of State has appointed an independent Inspector, Mr Paul Clark MA MRTPI MCMI to conduct the Examination.

Programme Officer Role

"I have been appointed as the independent Programme Officer working under the Inspector’s direction. 

"The Programme Officer is responsible for managing the day to day arrangements of the examination process before and during the period of the examination, recording all documents submitted, arranging for the inspection of sites by the Inspector and dealing with correspondence on his behalf to those have made representations, including requests for and exchange of all statements.

"This will include any communication or correspondence between the Inspector and the Corporation.

"For more guidance on the examination procedure and my role, The Planning Inspectorate has produced a booklet ‘Examining Local Plans Procedural Practice’. A copy of this document is available for viewing or downloads on the Planning Inspectorate' s Planning Portal web site:

Hearing Dates and next steps

"The examination hearings will commence at 
10am on Tuesday 2nd April 2019 
London Council's, 59½ Southwark St, London SE1 0AL
"The Inspector has published Draft Matters, Issues and Questions (ID-04) plus an Advice Note (ID-05) for participating in the hearings including the procedure for submitting written hearing statements.  I have also published a draft hearing programme (ID-07), with details of what matter will be heard on which days. 

"It is important to note that, as per the Inspectors Advice Note (ID-05), the Programme is subject to change.  

"It would [have been] helpful if people could contact me by 5.30pm Monday 18th February 2019 to advise if they wish to participate as per the Inspectors Advice note (ID-05).  A simple email advising you wish to participate, who you are, who you represent (a representor ID would be helpful) and what your issues are, as per your original representation, in relation to the Inspectors draft Matters, Issues and Questions. 

"There will be a further opportunity to advise specifically where you wish to participate once the programme has been finalised.  At this stage, it is to give the Inspector and idea of how many participants we may have.  All Electronic and Hard Copies of any written Statements need to be received by myself no later than the below for each week:
Week 1 Hearing Statements:
5.30pm Monday 25th February 2019

Week 2 Hearing Statements:
5.30pm Friday 1st March 2019

Week 3 Hearing Statements:
5.30pm Friday 8th March 2019

Examination Updates and Documents

"Please find attached relevant documents:

ID-04- Inspectors draft Matters and Issues

ID-05 Hearing Advice Note

ID-07 Draft Programme

All pertinent updates are published on the examination webpage:
Check here for details of the examination programme and any new documents submitted to the Inspector. 

"A full set of paper examination documents will be made available on request at OPDC Offices, 169 Union Street, London SE1 0LL. If you require any assistance accessing documents relating to the Local Plan, please contact me.

"Email is the preferred method of communication; it's cost-effective, traceable and an accepted method for formal communication. Should you wish to be added to our list for examination updates please contact us at bankssolutionsuk@gmail.com with your preferred email address.

"My usual working hours are between 9am and 5pm but happy to deal with a reasonable level of queries outside of those times, I understand some people may not have the opportunity to contact me during work hours."

Charlotte Glancy
Programme Officer

Venue and Facilities by on Scribd

OPDC Submitted documents


West London Orbital: The Dudding Hill Line across Brent, and Thomas the Tank Engine's ride on the line from Acton Main Line station to Cricklewood station

The Observer: "All stations to regeneration? Work on HS2 begins in earnest"

Link to web site

"The wealthy inhabitants of 18th-century Piccadilly dug deep when choosing a resting place in the new, overflow St James burial ground in Camden: the less likely to be disturbed by later arrivals to London’s packed cemeteries. But even a stone casket eight metres down only buys you so much peace when a £56bn train line comes knocking.

"The first big dig on HS2's route out of Euston is bringing up the bones of some 40,000 people, and these are the lucky ones. Records suggest 61,000 bodies were interred, but about a third were removed to expand the rail terminus in the 19th century – and without, current archaeologists maintain, the care they are now taking to keep each skeleton apart.

"Closed in 1853 over fears of cholera, the cemetery eventually became a park – St James Gardens – shaded until last year with dozens of London plane trees. Today, it is bare earth, dug down in steps, under a huge rig of canvas and scaffolding, platforms and lighting, covering the site from rain and public view."


[Reposted] West London Orbital railway - the route ahead

Questions to the Mayor

West London Orbital Railway [1]

Andrew Dismore (22-Mar-2018)
Do you welcome the proposals of the West London Alliance of boroughs to open a ‘West London Orbital’ railway, as part of London Overground?
The Mayor (22-Mar-2018)
I welcome the proposals to open a ‘West London Orbital’ railway. This new line could support the delivery of many new homes and jobs in west London, as well as improving connectivity across a wide area stretching from Barnet to Hounslow where there are currently limited public transport options for orbital travel. Given the support received for the West London Orbital rail line through the draft consultation on my Transport Strategy, I have strengthened my commitment to delivering the scheme in Proposal 88 of the final strategy, which now states: “The Mayor, through Transport for London (TfL), the West London Alliance boroughs and Network Rail, will work towards the delivery of a new London Overground 'West London Orbital' line connecting Hounslow with Cricklewood and Hendon via Old Oak, Neasden and Brent Cross.” TfL is now beginning the necessary feasibility work to take this proposal forward. I look forward to continuing the collaborative approach with the West London Alliance which has been invaluable in developing the proposal to this point.

West London Orbital Railway [2]

Andrew Dismore (22-Mar-2018)
Will you promote longer-distance trains along the ‘West London Orbital’ railway tracks, such as services between Surrey and Bedfordshire, via several of the London Opportunity Areas?
The Mayor (22-Mar-2018)
  I welcome support for the proposal to deliver a new West London Orbital railway line. On the basis of the support received through the consultation on my draft Transport Strategy, the Strategy has been amended to set out the potential route and its benefits in more detail.
   As the scheme is currently at feasibility stage, no decisions have yet been made regarding service operation. It should be noted that there are a number of capacity constraints on the route that would need to be addressed, notably the interfaces with the Midland Main Line north of Cricklewood, the North London line and the Hounslow loop. These may restrict the number and destination of services that can be offered on the route. There are also several freight services using the line. Taking these constraints into account, the core ambition will be to serve the already identified corridor, as this is where the key opportunity for delivering new homes and jobs lies.
   As is common with large infrastructure projects, further details relating to the design and operation of the scheme will be outlined through future public consultation.

West London Orbital Railway [3]

Andrew Dismore (22-Mar-2018)
   Will you intervene in Capita's plans for a new Brent Cross station if sufficiently long West London Orbital platforms are not included? [Should have said ‘separate and sufficiently long’.]
The Mayor (22-Mar-2018)
   I welcome the proposals to open a new ‘West London Orbital’ railway line. This new line could support the delivery of many new homes and jobs in west London, as well as improving connectivity across a wide area stretching from Barnet to Hounslow where there are currently limited public transport options for orbital travel.
   At the northern end of the proposed route, there is the potential to include a stop at the planned new Brent Cross Thameslink station to further support new development in the area.
   The new Thameslink station will be opened in 2022 and will be delivered as part of the Brent Cross West project. As the West London Orbital scheme is only in the early stages of development, any decision to serve Brent Cross will be dependent on future feasibility work. Subject to the outcome of this work, proposals for Brent Cross will look at whether it will be feasible to support the additional new development. The new Thameslink station will have 12 car long platforms, which would be of sufficient length to support any future West London Orbital service.


OPDC Local Cunning Plan Submission Explained

A Local Plan for an area sets the vision and framework for how it will develop over a twenty-year period.

The Local Plan for Old Oak and Park Royal, along with the London Plan (produced by the Mayor of London) and any neighbourhood plans, combine to form the overall development plan.

Since February 2016, OPDC have undertaken three rounds of public consultation with the community, local businesses and other stakeholders. These consultations have generated over 11,000 comments from you, which we’ve used to inform the development of the Local Plan.

On 4 October 2018 we submitted our Local Plan to the Planning Inspectorate for independent examination which will be carried out on behalf of the Secretary of State for the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

The final stage of creating a Local Plan

The independent examination is the final stage in the Local Plan process before it can be adopted as part of the legally binding development plan for the area.

The Planning Inspectorate, a government body who employ independent Planning Inspectors, will appoint an inspector to lead the independent examination of OPDC's Local Plan. The Planning Inspector will assess whether the Local Plan has been prepared in accordance with the legal and procedural requirements such as the Duty to Cooperate and whether it is 'Sound'. This will include consideration as to whether the Local Plan is:
  • Positively prepared – the plan should be prepared based on a strategy which seeks to meet objectively assessed development and infrastructure requirements, including unmet requirements from neighbouring authorities where it is reasonable to do so and consistent with achieving sustainable development;
  • Justified – the plan should be the most appropriate strategy, when considered against the reasonable alternatives, based on proportionate evidence;
  • Effective – the plan should be deliverable over its period and based on effective joint working on cross-boundary strategic priorities; and
  • Consistent with national policy – the plan should enable the delivery of sustainable development and must be in general conformity with the Mayor’s London Plan and the National Planning Policy Framework and National Planning Practice Guidance.

A key part of this stage in the process: Hearing sessions

Hearings sessions will be held for the Planning Inspector to examine the soundness of the Local Plan (as outlined above). Issues and questions identified by the Planning Inspector will determine the timetable of the hearings and who they will invite to attend. Those asked to attend hearings are called participants. Participants will include members of OPDC staff and selected stakeholders who submitted responses to the two most recent public consultations (held in 2017 and 2018).

Participants will provide responses to the Planning Inspector's issues and questions, these are called Hearing Statements. The Hearing Statements will be published on the website once made.

Hearing sessions are chaired by the Inspector and are open to the public but only participants identified by the Planning Inspector will be able to contribute during these meetings.

Expected timeframe

The expected timeframe is as follows:
*The timescales are indicative as each examination differs dependent on the complexity of the Local Plan being examined and questions arising from the Inspector.
Timing Key Actions Lead
Week 1
  • Local Plan submitted by OPDC
Week 2
  • Planning Inspector appointed and administrative review of Local Plan carried out
Planning Inspectorate
Weeks 3-4
  • Early appraisal of the Local Plan and identification of any issues and/or questions
  • Requests for any further information to address issues and/or questions
  • Structure and timetable of hearing sessions determined and participants identified
Planning Inspector
Weeks 5-6
  • Participants notified
  • Responses to Inspector’s issues and/or questions (Hearing Statements) developed by participants
Planning Inspector
Week 7
  • Hearing Statements submitted by participants
  • Participants confirmed
Planning Inspector
Week 8
  • Hearing Statements published on OPDC website
Planning Inspector
Week 9
  • Final hearing session agendas circulated to participants and published on OPDC website
Planning Inspector
Week 10+
  • Hearing sessions commence
Planning Inspector

The Planning Inspector’s next steps

Following the close of the hearings, the Inspector may identify main modifications needed in the Local Plan to make it sound. These changes would then require an additional six-week public consultation to be carried out.

After the close of this additional consultation, the Planning Inspector will draft their report, which may include any of the main modifications. OPDC must then make the main modifications set out in the Inspector’s Report to the Local Plan before it is then considered by the OPDC Planning Committee and Board for adoption.

Further information on the examination process can be found in the supporting document 'Procedural Practice in the Examination of Local Plan'.

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