BBC: "Heathrow third runway not right for UK, says Greening"

Link to BBC web site

"Justine Greening has said the government remains opposed to a third runway at Heathrow, despite calls from Conservative MPs for a change of heart.

"The transport secretary said expanding Heathrow was 'not right' for the UK and other options needed to be considered - including building a new hub airport.

"Some ministers have reportedly urged a rethink, amid strong business support."


Evening Standard: "London master planner creates a new west London city with 12,000 homes"

Architect Terry Farrell unveils his vision for a forgotten 99-acre industrial site three miles from Oxford Circus that will transform west London, reports David Spittles

Link to Evening Standard

"Tube and train upgrades provide the single biggest boost to property prices, catapulting a district from dire to desirable in five years and doubling house values. Homes in the revitalised King’s Cross/St Pancras area, now Europe’s busiest transport hub, have done just that since 2007.

"So where should home buyers be looking now? One answer lies in grandly named Park Royal City, in a plan unveiled this week by architect and London master planner Sir Terry Farrell. It refers to 99-acre Old Oak Common, bigger than the whole of the Royal Docks in east London, and known for not very much except its railway depots.

"Once a green expanse, it lies north of Wormwood Scrubs and the Westway but only three miles from Oxford Circus.

"Insiders are already scouting this hidden district of north-west London where a giant transport interchange is planned that will link with Crossrail and HS2, the proposed 'electric spine' between London and the North, a project given momentum by the Government’s £9.4 billion package of rail infrastructure investment announced last month. [The 'electric spine' is elecrification of existing rail lines, and has nothing to do with HS2.]

"Much of the land is owned by public sector bodies and is disused. Hammersmith and Fulham council believes regeneration will have a huge impact on surrounding areas such as Acton and Harlesden, and the ripple will spread to Shepherd’s Bush and White City, north Kensington and Chiswick."

Daily Telegraph: "Grant Shapps signals support for a third runway at Heathrow"

Link to web site

"Grant Shapps, the housing minister, says 'all options' for expanding airport capacity in the South East need to be examined to help kick-start the economy.

"The minister, the first to speak out publicly on the issue, is understood to be among a growing number of senior Conservatives who believe David Cameron should abandon the party’s opposition to a third runway.

"George Osborne, the Chancellor, is also thought to share this view, while business leaders are calling for either the expansion of Heathrow or for a new airport east of London."


Old Oak Community & Children’s Centre

Link to web site

"The Old Oak Community and Children’s Centre provides a multi-purpose community facility, providing a range of services for all sections of the community, including a Sure Start Children’s Centre.

"The centre is run by Old Oak Housing Association, with support from our parent body Family Mosaic, and LB of Hammersmith & Fulham."

Old Oak Community & Children’s Centre
Fun Day 2012
 "The Old Oak Community & Children’s Centre celebrated their 4th Annual Fun Day on Saturday 21 July. It proved to be a huge success with over 350 people from the local community attending."


Sunday Telegraph: "HS2 route should be moved to M40 corridor, says high speed rail expert"

"One of the architects of Britain’s first high-speed railway has attacked the route of the Government’s HS2 £32 billion train link between London and Birmingham [sic], claiming ministers are 'obsessed with speed'."

Link to Sunday Telegraph

"Mark Bostock, the engineer who drew up the route of the Channel Tunnel rail link 20 years ago, said the Government is disregarding many of the lessons from the high-speed train link between Dover and London.

"... The engineer, who worked for the engineering group Arup for 20 years, has devised an HS2 route which would have a station close to Heathrow Airport and the Great West Railway [sic] — allowing passengers to connect quickly to international flights and trains to Wales and the west country."


High Speed 2 - News Update

Link to PDF file

"From Doug Oakervee CBE, Chairman of HS2 Ltd"

Welcome to our first HS2 News Update

"It is now six months since Justine Greening, the Secretary of State for Transport announced the government's decision to go ahead with plans for a new high speed rail line between London and the West Midlands and on to Manchester and Leeds.

"Since my appointment in March as Chairman of HS2 Ltd, I have seen at first hand the commitment of the HS2 team to tackling this challenging project and achieving a result that fairly balances the wider economic needs of the country as a whole with the local and very understandable concerns of communities along the railway's route.

"We at HS2 Ltd are all committed to ensuring that the design process takes full account of how different areas will be affected by the proposed line of route. This bulletin is the first in a series of updates, designed to keep you informed about the steps we have taken so far and activities that are currently under way, and give an outline of what will be happening next. We've also included a reminder of how to get in touch with us.

"Whilst I am personally enthusiastic about the tremendous potential that HS2 can offer to many people across the UK, I am determined to ensure that we are as clear as possible about both benefits and impacts of the project."


NLA: "High Speed 2 Update: Impact and opportunities for the capital - 20/7/2012"

"The jury is still out on the extent of HS2’s economic benefits to London and the rest of the UK. But extensive plans are being drawn up to make the most of the proposed line, with a focus on Old Oak Common as the ‘Canary Wharf of the West’, along with a rejuvenated Euston station and environs."
"Those were the overriding themes to be drawn from a special NLA session, organised to provide an update on the impact and opportunities for the capital from the high-speed line."

"HS2 technical director Prof Andrew McNaughton said that the scheme was necessary to provide London – ‘the only true metropolis in Europe’ and a city faced with 1 million more people by 2031 – with the capacity it needs and to connect the rest of the country’s ‘spine’ of major conurbations. The project has the go-ahead to develop detail for a hybrid bill by the end of 2013 on the first stage of the ‘Y Network,’ with a view to getting the line up and running with a full commercial service in 2026.

"McNaughton said that a two-station solution was required at the London end of the line at Old Oak Common and Euston, because without this, any speed advantages would be lost in congestion.  ‘If anyone doesn’t understand that, try Shanghai’, he said. As part of the plans, Euston will be expanded with 10 new platforms, potentially underground in order to foster better pedestrian movement across the site.

"Development opportunities at Old Oak Common will be ‘enormous’, he added, but part of the four-pronged process toward the mayor’s approval of the project will be assessing HS2’s environmental impact – felt to be considerable by many observers.

"One such, Camden Council leader Cllr Sarah Hayward said the effects of HS2 on her borough would be wide-ranging, with people losing their homes and businesses, especially in the half of Drummond Street which will be swallowed up by Euston expansion. Furthermore, said Hayward, construction work will impact adversely on local schools, and blight over areas will cause uncertainty. ‘The impact is already quite devastating for people’, she said. ‘HS2’s impact on Camden is devastating and has been ill thought-through’.

"But rather than talk of ‘mitigating’ the line, we should be maximising its positive elements, said Arup’s Global Rail Leader director Colin Stewart. ‘We’re looking for something for the next 50, 100, 200 years’, he said. ‘It’s legacy, so we have to get it right’.

"Transport for London managing director, planning, Michèle Dix was more positive: ‘Old Oak Common is a big, big opportunity to not just have a transport interchange but a big development here’, she said. ‘Our job is to widen the remit.’

"LSE London director Tony Travers said that although Government sees HS2 as a major economic driver to the rest of England, from railway developments of the past it is ‘not at all clear there will be that kind of impact.’ He added that it was questionable why an area so close to London as Old Oak Common had been so resistant to economic development thus far, and there were concerns about the line undermining overground routes. But development of the ‘tired 1960s Euston station could be used as a catalyst to bring substantial change to an area with poverty and monocultural housing.’

"Neil Bennett of Terry Farrell + Partners said he believed that Old Oak Common could see development comparable to Canary Wharf in scale. But he added that it was important to view all of Britain’s transport infrastructure improvements as part of an integrated system.

"Finally, GLA strategic planning manager Martin Scholar said that the HS2 plans were an important proposition with a ‘subtext’ of regeneration benefits, not least at Park Royal, and helped by emerging Opportunity Area Planning Frameworks. ‘Transformational change should be the aim at Old Oak Common. We’re trying to lobby for more than a rail-to-rail interchange’, he said. ‘It’s not Crewe.’

David Taylor, Editor, New London Quarterly

Pan-Camden HS2 Alliance: "Proposal for Old Oak Common"

Link to PDF file

"An unparalleled location for rail connectivity and regeneration, with numerous advantages over Euston as the London focus for high-speed rail" (July 2011)


The Guardian: "Earls Court, Boris Johnson and the wrecking ball"

Link to The Guardian

"It's ironic that the Earls Court exhibition centre, presently hosting Olympics volleyball, is lined up for bulldozing after the Games. Opened in 1937 and a premier London venue for the events industry ever since, it is earmarked for levelling directly after helping accommodate the largest event London has ever hosted. Sounds odd? A bit of background sheds some light.

"The planned destruction of Earls Court is – as regular readers of this blog know – part of a larger redevelopment scheme proposed for that part of inner west London. This would also reduce to dust the 760 homes of the West Kensington and Gibbs Green housing estates.

"The Conservative-run boroughs of Kensington and Chelsea (K&C) and Hammersmith and Fulham (H&F) envisage a regenerative new 'urban quarter' full of luxury flats and, they say, new local job opportunities rising from the rubble, but they've been meeting some determined opposition."

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