Place West London: "Old Oak opportunity four times that of Olympics"
"The massive regeneration opportunity that is Old Oak Common – christened
“Park Royal City” by LB Hammersmith & Fulham – was laid out before delegates
at Place West London in 2012.
"Sir Terry Farrell led off, talking with enthusiasm
about his masterplan for the area – some 750ha of generally brownfield land –
which could deliver 100,000 jobs and 19,000 new homes.
"The Old Oak opportunity area is much bigger than either Canary Wharf, at
11.5ha, or the Olympic Park, at 200ha, and has a lot going for it. The proposed
interchange between HS2 and Crossrail offers much more than just an interchange.
The chance to create a whole new district of London above ground is one too
large to ignore, he said.
"HS2′s present plans just include a sealed interchange between the two lines,
without even a connection to the neighbouring London Overground or Underground
stations. There was general agreement on [the need for these connections?] ... among speakers, including Colin
Wilson of the GLA, Mike Cummings of SEGRO and Nick Botterill, Leader of LB
Hammersmith & Fulham.
"Wilson showed the GLA’s thinking in the current draft of their Opportunity
Area Planning Framework, with a phased development of the area up to and beyond
2031. The green assets of the area featured heavily – Wormwood Scrubs and Kensal
Green Cemetary being two of the largest green sapces in London.
"He was at pains to say that the development planned was mainly residential
and commercial office/industrial. There was no real need for significant retail
elements with Westfield a couple of minutes away on the West London Line.
"Mike Cummings made the point that this proposed development was not, as the
Olympic Park had been, on derelict land far from any major centres of
employment. With Park Roylal right next door, where over 60,000 people work
already, it was important that any development enhanced this economic dynamo’s
capacity to deliver economic growth and employment. He appealed for plans to
provide ways of easing road congestion for the whole area.
"Wilson and Botterill both thought that the project was big enough to benefit
from a Mayoral Development Corporation, as the Olympic Legacy does, and this
would look like a significant possibility if the argument over the station can
be won with HS2, and with the Goverment, to create a station equal in passenger
throughput to Waterloo, and immediately one of the five biggest in the UK.
"Nick Botterill also pointed to the proposed direct link to HS1, and relished
that this would bring 'passport control in to Hammersmith & Fulham for the
first time'. [Very unlikely, though. Use the proposed Euston - St Pancras travellator, instead.]
"Old Oak is another example, alongside the Battersea Northern Line Extension,
of how infrastructure investment can provide the opportunity for significant
economic development, and of the value that such investment can release for the
future of west London, and indeed the whole city." [So let's not screw it up, like at Brent Cross. Rely on transparency throughout!]
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