Planning Resource: "Old Oak Common development corporation plans move forward"

"Proposed QPR stadium: plans are at heart of
Old Oak Common regeneration area"
[Don't count on that.]
Link to web site

"Plans to set up a mayoral development corporation (MDC) to deliver nearly 25,000 homes around the site of a vast High Speed 2 and Crossrail 'super hub' station in west London have taken a step forward after London Assembly members opted against using their powers to block the proposals.

"London mayor Boris Johnson has powers to designate any area of land in Greater London as a mayoral development area for the purposes of setting up an MDC.

"At the final stage of the process, the London Assembly is given the opportunity to reject the proposed designation, with a two-thirds majority required.

"At an extraordinary plenary meeting of the assembly, assembly members opted not to block the proposals, although Labour members passed a motion setting out concerns over the plans."

CityAm: "The critics are wrong: Our bold plans for new homes for London will benefit all"

Sir Edward Lister is the mayor of London’s chief of staff and deputy mayor for planning

Link to web site

"As London's population soars towards the 9m mark, it’s vital that we take every step we can to deliver the jobs and homes our growing city needs. And Old Oak Common, a once-forgotten part of west London, represents a once-in-a-lifetime chance to create a brand new piece of the capital with up to 24,000 new homes and more than 55,000 jobs. Unfortunately, our plans have been unfairly criticised, including in these pages last week.

"It may be sprawling industrial land today but, by 2026, Old Oak Common will be home to a vast HS2 and Crossrail station. The new station will be the size of Waterloo, handling 250,000 passengers a day and acting as a super-hub between London and the rest of the UK, Europe and the world.

"The big opportunity from HS2 is regeneration, and the mayor is determined to ensure that this opportunity is not missed. We believe that Old Oak Common and neighbouring Park Royal could supply up to 3 per cent of the Greater London housing requirement and almost 14 per cent of Greater London’s employment need up to 2031."


BBC: "The InterCity 125 and its high-speed replacement"

"Four decades ago, something came along that many people feel helped save the railways.

A sleek, pacy, high-speed train, the InterCity 125. With its familiar sloping nose, the 125 symbolised a new era of clean lines and high technology on a network that had been underfunded and getting tatty for decades.

"Now, we are getting the first glimpses of the train the government has picked to replace it.

"The Hitachi 800 series won't be carrying passengers for at least another four years but it will finally come over from Japan for its first tests next year.

"It's not without controversy. At around the £6bn mark, the Public Accounts Committee has recently questioned whether the taxpayer will ever get value for money, especially if passenger numbers drop off in future. In fact they've questioned whether the government should be buying trains at all, normally the industry does it.

"But ministers say the new Hitachis will cut journey times for passengers and create hundreds of UK jobs.

"They will appear on the Great Western line in December 2017 and the East Coast mainline in 2018."


BBC video: "Crossrail: Tunnelling beneath London"

Link to web site

"In exactly four years' time, Europe's biggest infrastructure project will open to the public.

"Crossrail is a new railway line running from east to west across London. It sounds simple enough but this is a project on a scale that echoes the great Brunel himself.

"It includes 26 miles of tunnels and we were lucky enough to go down a few, just to see how they are getting on.

"I say lucky. You should try climbing down 50 metres of claustrophobic metal staircase in full safety gear and carrying all the camera kit."


Crossrail video: "Surface Works: Upgrading the existing railway"

"Work on Crossrail’s surface section in outer London, Berkshire and Essex is now one third complete.

"The £2.3bn upgrade of the existing rail network for Crossrail is being undertaken by Network Rail.

"Matthew White, Surface Director at Crossrail said:
"Crossrail will provide a step change in public transport right along the surface section of the route – for passengers that will mean new trains, better stations and quicker journeys. A huge amount of work has already been carried out to prepare the existing railway for the arrival of new services. Network Rail is now gearing up for a busy time over Christmas and New Year and in 2015 major station improvements will step up."
"Matthew Steele, Crossrail Programme Director at Network Rail said:
"£2.3bn is being invested in the existing rail network to deliver Crossrail. Network Rail is upgrading stations, track, signalling and installing new overhead power supplies across the route to enable the new trains to run. We are also building a brand new station at Abbey Wood as well as delivering new flyovers to ease congestion between London and Heathrow airport. As we pass through this milestone the work is on schedule and within budget, so well done to everyone working within the combined Crossrail, Network Rail and supply chain team."
"The Christmas and New Year period will be the busiest yet for Crossrail’s surface section.

"Amongst a wide programme of works, bridges at Slough and Iver will be demolished, the new flyover at Stockley will be commissioned and a turnback facility will be installed at Chadwell Heath."


Wed 17 Dec: London Assembly: "Mayoral Development Area - Extraordinary Assembly meeting on Old Oak & Park Royal"

16 December 2014

"Tomorrow the London Assembly will hold an Extraordinary Plenary session to discuss the Mayor’s proposal for a Mayoral Development Corporation (MDC) to lead the regeneration of the Old Oak Common and Park Royal areas of west London. The proposals would lead to 24,000 new homes and 55,000 new jobs centred on the new High Speed 2 station at Old Oak.

"Under the proposals, the MDC would take over the majority of planning powers from the London boroughs of Brent, Ealing and Hammersmith and Fulham and would lead on preparing the local plans and determining large planning applications in that area.

"The following guests will be questioned:
  • Sir Edward Lister - Chief of Staff and Deputy Mayor for Planning
  • Victoria Hills - Director of the proposed Development Corporation for Old Oak and Park Royal.
"The Assembly will then formally consider the proposals for the designation of the Mayoral Development Area.[1]

"The role of the London Assembly is to act as a check and balance on the activities of the Mayor and the various organisations his office supports.

"The meeting will take place on Wednesday, 17 December from 1.30pm in The Chamber, at City Hall (The Queen's Walk, London SE1).

"Media and members of the public are invited to attend.

"The meeting can also be viewed via webcast."

Notes for Editors:
  1. Section 197 of the Localism Act 2011 gives the Mayor powers to designate any area of land in Greater London as a Mayoral Development Area (MDA) for the purposes of setting up a Mayoral Development Corporation. In relation to the proposal to designate a MDA covering Old Oak and Park Royal, that process has now reached its final stage. At this final stage, the Act requires the Mayor to lay his proposals for designation of the Area before the Assembly in order to afford it the opportunity to reject the proposed designation within the following 21 days. The Mayor may only proceed to designate the MDA if, after the 21 day 'consideration period' has expired, the Assembly has not rejected his proposals. In accordance with Section 197, the Assembly may reject the proposed designation by a two thirds majority of Members present and voting. A formal motion to reject may be moved by any single Assembly Member during the meeting, and if seconded, will be considered and must be voted upon by the Assembly.

  2. Full agenda papers

  3. As well as investigating issues that matter to Londoners, the London Assembly acts as a check and a balance on the Mayor.


Evening Standard: "Peter Bill on property: Teamwork the key for QPR to win in Old Oak Common clash"

Link to web site

"The chairman of Queens Park Rangers, Tony Fernandes, and the owner of Car Giant, Geoff Warren, need to be locked in a room at City Hall by London's Deputy Mayor, Sir Edward Lister, who should then depart the room, uttering the words: 'Nobody gets out until you (stabs finger at Warren) agree to give him (stabs finger at Fernandes) enough of your land to build his new stadium at Old Oak Common. Is that bloody clear?'

If only. Fernandes is spending millions, working up a planning application for the 25,000 homes across the entire 345 acres of land, due to be declared to the Mayoral Development Corporation next week. The centrepiece is a 40,000-seater football stadium which QPR’s advisers insist can go in only one spot: on five of the 47 acres of land owned by Warren.

"The 59-year-old car salesman, who earned himself a £220 million fortune dealing from his Old Oak acres, said here three weeks ago: 'The stadium is just not going to happen. We have a compelling vision of our own.' Warren wants to build 10,000 homes on his land. He has hired two of the property industry's most formidable negotiators in the shape of Ian and Richard Livingstone of London & Regional."

5 -15 Dec: Exhibitions - Well, Car Giant's 'Old Oak Park' name is as bad as QPR's 'New Queens Park', but apart from that,...

Link to 'Old Oak Park' [sic] web site

New Queen's Park: "QPR’s plans for a stadium-led regeneration of Old Oak receive overwhelming community support"

"Thank you for responding to our consultation earlier this year.

"As you will remember, QPR’s plans involve regenerating Old Oak. We plan on building a new 40,000 seat stadium for QPR FC, creating 50,000 new jobs and building 24,000 homes.

"The stadium will be the beating heart of the huge regeneration scheme planned by the Boroughs and the GLA. It will generate activity, excitement, publicity, jobs and spin-off businesses; ensuring that the new development is a real place and not just another dormitory town of buy-to-let flats leaving little for the local community.

"In order to sustain a top-flight football club, QPR need to move on from Loftus Road and Old Oak is the only realistic place for us to move.

"As you know we have held an extensive consultation which involved a six-day public exhibition and 50,000 newsletters. We have had fantastic feedback from our consultation, almost 3,000 of you have got in touch. The key findings are:
  • 2,524 (89%) people agree with QPR’s vision for Old Oak while just 302 (11%) say they disagree.
  • 2,484 (88%) people support Old Oak as the location for a new QPR Stadium while just 332 (12%) say they disagree.
"We have received many useful comments e.g. about the need for improved healthcare facilities and school places in the area. We are now in the process of reviewing all the comments and feedback received during the consultation period and we will continue to work with the community as we draw up our plans in more detail. We will keep you informed of our progress."


Transport for London's outline of an Old Oak Common station at Acton Wells, and TfL objections to the HS2 bill

24dash.com: "Doubts raised over new QPR stadium as former sponsor seeks to fast-track rival scheme"

"Queens Park Rangers' plans to build a new stadium at Old Oak Common have suffered a major setback after a rival landowner announced it was seeking to fast-track rival proposals for the site.

Cargiant, a west London-based vehicle warehouse which owns 47 acres of land in the area, had previously ruled out working with the Premier League club and said it would fight any plans by QPR to gain a compulsory purchase order (CPO) for the land.

But now its managing director Tony Mendes has upped the ante even further by unveiling a partnership with developer London & Regional Properties to build 20,000 'affordable' new homes.

In November, QPR were confident their stadium-led regeneration plans were on track after a local consultation revealed 90% of residents backed the proposals.

If it goes ahead, the project would be the UK's biggest regeneration project since the Olympic Games with a new 40,000-seat stadium included alongside 24,000 homes and major leisure, retail and community facilities.

It remains to be seen whether the announcement by Cargiant will put the brakes on QPR's plans but Mendes is confident that his own scheme will get the nod against the club his company used to sponsor.

Tony Mendes said:
"I am delighted to have London & Regional and DP9 on board and look forward to working with their team. Cargiant has been part of the local community for over 30 years, and brings with it land, property expertise and local knowledge, and with London & Regional bringing along their development skills and extensive experience, Old Oak Park is destined to become a model community.

London is in desperate need of more houses and the Mayor and the GLA are working hard to resolve the shortage. By appointing London & Regional at this early stage we will be accelerating the process of delivering our scheme and thousands of affordable houses for Londoners by at least 12 months."

Old Oak Park is destined to become one of the largest car-free and safest developments in London, with the needs of the local community at its heart.

This development will encompass a large proportion of affordable homes for the local community with waterside living and access to the 170 acre Wormwood Scrubs Park, which is four times the size of Green Park.

I am very grateful for the excellent initial stage work carried out by First Base and Lipton Rogers which has allowed us to get to this transitional stage quickly."
A spokesman for QPR said:
"The future regeneration of Old Oak requires everyone one to work together for the common good - the boroughs, the Mayor, landowners and the local community.

Our consultation attracted the views of almost 3,000 local residents with almost 90% in support of our stadium-led regeneration.

The future of Old Oak lies in the regeneration of the entire area and not the uncoordinated and piecemeal development of individual land holdings."


House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee: "Economic Case for HS2"

Meeting started on Tuesday 11 November at 3.39pm. Ended at 5.30pm

  • Paul Plummer, Rail Delivery Group and Network Rail; Rupert Walker, Network Rail; and Professor Chris Nash, Institute for Transport Studies, University of Leeds
  • Lord Adonis


CityAM: "Cargiant’s Old Oak Common plans threaten QPR stadium expansion"

Link to web site

"Cargiant, the west London-based vehicle warehouse, is teaming up with the Livingstone brothers’ London & Regional Properties group on one of London’s largest redevelopment projects.

"The plan to regenerate the west London Old Oak Common site with 20,000 new homes is set to clash with rival plans from Queens Park Rangers (QPR) football club chairman Tony Fernandes, who had hoped to redevelop the site with a new stadium for his Premier League team."


GetWestLondon: "Council works with partners to improve east Acton life"

"Council Leader Julian Bell said they will be more strategic in tackling unemployment, crime and safety at a scrutiny meeting"

Link to web site

"The Local Strategic Partnership’s (LSP) east Acton project is testament to the more hands-on approach the council and its partners are taking to improve the borough, says Ealing’s council leader.

Councillor Julian Bell said three years ago they claimed they wanted to do less talking and more doing, and work undertaken this year to improve lives for people in the chosen area has proved that.

At Thursday’s (November 13) scrutiny meeting Mr Bell said:
"We will have discussions over the next couple of months on how we can be more strategic.

“Everybody knows there's not any more money but if you pull your money and resources together, we can work in a better way."
"... At the meeting, east Acton councillor Kate Crawford asked whether the council would be utilising opportunities surrounding HS2, to which the council leader said they would be looking to maximise opportunities for any future training and apprenticeships around Old Oak Common and HS2."


Financial Times: "Qatar looks to back UK high-speed train plan"

"The Qatari royal family has told British ministers it wants to invest heavily in regeneration projects being planned around the hubs of the new HS2 high-speed rail line, with billions of pounds of investment being discussed.

"The emir of Qatar visited the UK last month and told the prime minister he wanted to take advantage of new projects that have sprung up as a result of the £50bn rail venture, which will run from London to Birmingham, then Leeds and Manchester.

"While talks are at an early stage, both sides are keen to do a deal, according to figures in Downing Street, the Treasury and the Qatari royal family. Such an agreement would boost David Cameron’s attempts to improve Britain’s infrastructure using private and international money.

"According to Qatari officials, the potential investment was one of the main topics of discussion during the emir’s visit, and Doha is now waiting for further information from the UK government.

"Documents released by the Cabinet Office last month show how much attention the prime minister has given to attracting foreign investment into the UK. The papers reveal that in the first three months of this year, Mr Cameron organised three Downing Street meetings with external investors, including the Canada Pension Plan, the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency and the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority.

"That strategy has begun paying off in the past few months. Li Keqiang met Mr Cameron in Beijing last year, after which the Chinese premier singled out high-speed rail and nuclear power as two key large-scale schemes in which his country is keen to put money.

"The Qataris are also trying to take over Songbird Estates, the group that owns London’s Canary Wharf, to add to other holdings in London, including Harrods and Chelsea Barracks.

"The gas-rich Gulf state also opened talks with the Treasury last year to invest up to £10bn into infrastructure projects such as energy plants, transport schemes or the Thames “super-sewer” under London.

"According to officials in the Downing Street meeting, Mr Cameron and the emir very briefly discussed how the Qatari sovereign wealth fund might put money into HS2 and British officials had more detailed discussions with their Qatari counterparts. While the UK government is planning to fund the costs of the railway line itself, trade officials are keen for outside investors to help fund renovation projects at the termini.

"People close to the project said the Qataris appeared to be particularly interested in investing in the renovation planned in central Birmingham, where one of the biggest new stations in Britain in a century will be built at Curzon Street.

"Developers plan to build 2,000 new homes and 600,000 square metres of office space around the new Birmingham station, with the aim of transforming the area using a similar model to London’s King’s Cross station redevelopment.

"There are also plans for a major redevelopment at Old Oak Common in west London, where HS2 will meet Crossrail, described by some as the “Canary Wharf of the west.”

"At the same time HS2 is drawing up plans to create a new company called Regenco in partnership with London and Continental Railways to buy up land around the stations on the route.

"The aim of the new body is to oversee regeneration work along the line, with the potential for thousands of new homes and new commercial real estate.

"Officials believe that Qatar could be persuaded to invest alongside Regenco in some of these schemes. 'We think it’s right up their street,' one said."


Nicky Gavron AM: "Our visit to Old Oak Common and Park Royal"

Link to web site

"Next month the Assembly will decide whether to approve the creation of a Mayoral Development Corporation for the Old Oak Common and Park Royal Area. The convergence of HS2 and Crossrail on a 50 hectare-plus brownfield site represents one of the greatest opportunities for regeneration in London’s history, but we need to make sure that the Mayor’s vision for Old Oak is the right one, and that a Mayoral Development Corporation is the best way to implement that vision.

"Yesterday I joined Assembly Members from all parties on a site visit to Old Oak Common and Park Royal. The visit followed on from the Planning Committee’s meeting this summer, and highlights our continuing scrutiny of the Mayor’s plans."


ChiswickW4: "HS2: Calls for Ealing residents to be compensated"

Link to web site

"Residents affected by the High Speed Rail Link (HS2) through parts of Ealing should be compensated according to a new alliance.

"Ealing Council has joined forces with Camden and Hillingdon to call on the government to grant 'A fair deal for London' on HS2 compensation.

"... Amanda Souter, chair of Wells House Road Residents’ Association in Old Oak Common said:
"We are facing the prospect of living with constant construction for 24 hours, seven days a week for up to a decade. At some points we will be completely cut off from vital amenities such as shops, transport, doctors and churches and children will have journeys of an hour or more to get to local schools only minutes away. However HS2 ltd. has failed to recognise our community’s unique circumstances in offering any form of compensation."


Possible Old Oak Common access roads (not to mention a Harlesden Bypass)

1943: The Abercrombie Plan just widened the Harrow Road
(Click to enlarge images)

1967: What was now a 'Harrow Road Bypass'
was alongside the West Coast Main Line

2014: A possible
North Circular - to - Old Oak Common link road
(The location to cross the Dudding Hill rail line needs refining)

... and extending to Scrubs Lane
(These are not GLA-adopted suggestions)


Consultation until 31 Oct: "London Infrastructure Plan 2050"

Link to web site

"The Mayor has launched London's first long-term infrastructure plan. This is a consultation about London’s growth and how we can make the city better for everyone.

"Infrastructure is fundamental to every Londoner, every day, from turning on the taps in the morning, to travelling to work, to switching off the lights at night.

"The document sets out what infrastructure London requires. It is the first ever strategic attempt to set out London's infrastructure needs, how much it might cost and how we pay for our needs. The aim is to prepare for, and benefit further from, London's growth: bringing fresh thinking into the city's infrastructure needs now, in order to meet them more costs effectively in the long term.

"By its very nature, infrastructure underpins everything you do. You make London and we want to hear from you. Let us know what you think by completing the consultation questions by 31 October 2014. If you prefer a standalone document please send it to infrastructureplan@london.gov.uk."


This-is-Money: "High speed rail 'tsar' to spark fresh controversy with new HS2 route and stations recommendations"

Link to web site

"The Government’s high speed rail 'tsar' Sir David Higgins will spark fresh controversy on Monday when he sets out details of his recommended route and stations for the Northern half of the controversial £50billion HS2 line.
"The Y-shaped second phase of the route is to run from Birmingham to Leeds in the East and Manchester in the West.

"But Sir David is also set to outline plans for an additional West to East express train route - dubbed 'HS3' - linking Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds and Hull. The idea has the support of Chancellor George Osborne who wants to stimulate economic growth in the region.

"Using it as a 'centrepiece' of his Autumn statement, he is expected to announce investment of up to £15billion to turn the North of England into an economic 'powerhouse'.

"Significantly Sir David will unveil his report – called 'Rebalancing Britain - Towards a national transport strategy' – in Leeds on Monday."

Brent & Kilburn Times: "Cargiant invest £15 million into Old Oak Common site planning" [although car-obsession and "multi-storey car parks" misunderstands what will be acceptable]

Link to web site

"QPR chairman Tony Fernandes faces an uphill battle to build a new stadium at Old Oak Common, with Cargiant currently working on their own regeneration plans.

"... Tony Mendes, managing director of Cargiant, said:
"We are moving ahead with extensive plans for the Hythe Industrial Estate in NW10, which has been earmarked as a future regeneration site by the Mayor of London.

As a significant land owner and employer in the area for more than 35 years, we are fully committed to develop plans that will benefit the local community by creating thousands of new homes, significant commercial space, vibrant and attractive public realm, community amenities and thousands of jobs for local people.

Cargiant had partnered with experienced developers First Base and Lipton Rogers to develop our plans, and we have already committed contracts up to the value of £15 million to progress the application for outline planning permission."

Link to web site

Evening Standard:
"QPR’s plans have run aground"
"Queens Park Rangers has come up against a formidable opponent in the pugnacious shape of Geoff Warren.

"He is the owner of 47 acres of land at Old Oak Common, used by his car sales company Cargiant.

"QPR wants to embed a stadium within 10,000 new homes Warren plans on the land. A lot has been heard from the club since it unilaterally announced its intentions last December. Nothing has been heard from Warren directly, until today. It's no deal."


New Civil Engineer: "Hammersmith ‘flyunder’ construction could begin by end of decade"

"Construction of the proposed Hammersmith ‘flyunder’ could begin within five years, assuming various planning and financing hurdles are overcome.

" 'We are about two to three years behind the Silvertown Tunnel, which has an estimated start date of 2017,' said Nick Boyle, transportation and development manager for the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham (LBHF).

"He was speaking at a briefing on the progress of the flyunder scheme. LBHF is proposing construction of a tunnel to replace the Hammersmith Flyover, which was closed for emergency repairs in 2011. "

"A Halcrow-produced feasibility study published in March suggested three options: a 15m-deep, cut-and-cover tunnel, costing £218M, and running along the 1.6km route of the existing flyover; a longer, more expensive twin-bore tunnel, costing up to £1.7bn and stretching for 4.1km between Chiswick and Earl’s Court; and another twin-bore tunnel, 3.5km long, which would emerge at North End Road.

"The report found no subterranean ‘showstoppers’, and the twin-bore tunnel would run through London clay at a depth of up to 25m.

"Since the study was published, the Conservatives have been replaced as majority party in LBHF by Labour. However, Boyle said the new administration was supporting the flyunder plans. Councillor Andrew Jones, cabinet member for economic development and regeneration, is now responsible for progressing the project."

Financial Times: "Cargiant and Queens Park Rangers battle to build thousands of London homes"

"Two businesses have unveiled rival plans to build thousands of homes on the last big undeveloped site in London – even though neither has ever built a single house.

"Cargiant, the car dealership, and Premier League football club Queens Park Rangers may not be builders but they have lined up teams of planners, architects and property developers as they try to cash in on the capital's housing market.

"The prize is a semi-industrial site of more than 100 acres called Old Oak Common, in west London. At first glance, it does not look a promising site for real estate, flanked by the unremarkable districts of Acton and Harlesden, with Wormwood Scrubs prison to the south and the Grand Union Canal running through the middle.

"Yet this is London’s biggest regeneration opportunity since the Olympics. A Crossrail and HS2 superstation the size of Waterloo will help create what Boris Johnson, mayor of London, called 'an entirely new city quarter for London'. Sir Edward Lister, deputy mayor, has hailed it as 'one of the largest and most exciting schemes of its kind in London for decades' and 'a once-in-a-lifetime pportunity to transform a vast area, the size of a small London borough'.

"Whoever wins will hope to emulate developers that are building big housing projects on land that was long derelict, such as King’s Cross, Battersea Power Station, Earls Court and Royal Docks. As Cargiant is already the biggest landowner and the major employer on Old Oak Common, it would appear to have the upper hand in the contest.

"QPR and the club’s owners own not a square inch of the land but they bring clout, profile and deep pockets. AirAsia entrepreneur Tony Fernandes, QPR chairman, is part of a consortium that includes the scion of the billionaire Gnanalingam family, which is the major shareholder of Malaysian ports operator Westports Holdings.

"The QPR team believe their plan to move out of their 18,000-seat ground in Shepherd’s Bush for a new, multipurpose stadium seating 40,000 on the Old Oak Common site is in tune with the regeneration policies of the mayor and local politicians. Their scheme promises 24,000 homes and 55,000 jobs in a project they call 'New Queens Park' – what Mr Fernandes describes as 'much more than just a stadium'.

"The master plan will be produced by Farrells and Tony Spencer, the property consultant who found Arsenal the site for its Emirates stadium and helped the club to become a one-off property developer to help fund the project.

"But Cargiant’s trump card is that it is already on Old Oak Common, where it employs 700 people and sells 40,000 cars a year, and has been there for 35 years. With PLP in charge of its master plan and First Base and Lipton Rogers its developers, Cargiant’s scheme would see it relocate its dealership and build 9,500 homes.

"The Greater London Authority sees the potential of a stadium as part of any redevelopment and has talked to QPR. But it will not attempt to strong-arm Cargiant to give way. 'The mayor hopes that an agreement between all parties can be reached,' Sir Edward said.

"Property industry figures downplay QPR’s chances of snatching Cargiant’s land out from underneath them. The club has little chance of obtaining a compulsory purchase order to force Cargiant to sell, according to one experienced planning adviser who did not want to be named because of his involvement in previous plans for the site. 'If the Cargiant plan is consistent with the mayor’s vision and they are making progress, then there would be no grounds [for an order],' he said.

"Cargiant is owned by Geoffrey Michael Warren, who is not a football fan – though his company once sponsored QPR and the company’s managing director, Tony Mendes, is a season-ticket holder. 'They [QPR] don’t own a blade of grass on Old Oak Common,' said Mr Mendes, adding that a football stadium in the middle of the site would 'sterilise' the area.

"QPR has responded by saying the future of Old Oak requires all to work for the common good, not in 'unco-ordinated and piecemeal development of individual land holdings', pointing out that Arsenal did not own any of the land it eventually acquired for its north London stadium.

"However, despite property industry speculation that Mr Warren is merely trying to inflate the price Cargiant will eventually get for the land, Mr Mendes dismisses any thought of the company being bought out. There were talks at one stage but no more, he says. 'We won’t engage with them again – we are too far down the road'."


GetWestLondon: "Protestors gathered outside the UK’s biggest property trade show today to campaign against the sell-off of social housing in the capital"

Link to web site

"About 100 protesters from all over London and even some from Spain rallied the inaugural MIPIM UK conference which started today at Olympia, and is normally held in Cannes, France.

"There were chants of ‘homes for people not for profit’ and ‘social housing not social cleansing', as around 4,000 property developers, architects, investors, agents and local government representatives queued up to make their way into the conference centre.

"Mayor of London Boris Johnson gave the opening speech at 10am, but protesters hoping to catch a glimpse of the mayor, who much of their vitriol was directed at, were disappointed when he chose not to enter through the main door."

The Guardian: "At yacht parties in Cannes, councils have been selling our homes from under us"

"Property developers wining and dining town hall executives - it’s a jaunt so lavish as to be almost comic"

Link to web site

"Starting [today], 4,000 men - and, yes, they’ll mainly be men - will gather in a giant hall in London. Among them will be major property developers, billionaire investors and officials of your local council or one nearby.

"And what they’ll discuss will be the sale of public real estate, prime land already owned by you and me, to the private sector. The marketing people brand this a property trade show, but let’s drop the euphemisms and call it the sales fair to flog off Britain.

"For the past 25 years, this conference – Mipim for short – has been held in Cannes. It’s a jaunt so lavish as to be almost comic – where big money developers invite town hall executives for secret discussions aboard private yachts, and whose regulars boast that they get through more champagne than all the liggers at the film festival.

"Suitably oiled-up, local officials open talks with multinational developers to sell council housing estates and other sites. All this networking is so lucrative for the builders that they even fly over council staff. Last year, Australia's Lend Lease paid for Southwark’s boss, Peter John, to attend Cannes.

"This is the same Lend Lease to which Southwark sold the giant Heygate estate at a knockdown price: 1,100 council flats in inner London to be demolished and replaced with 2,500 units, of which only 79 will be for 'social rent'.

"... Against that backdrop even the smallest victory looks historic. Up on the northwestern perimeter of London, in West Hendon, other council residents are fighting the borough of Barnet over the redevelopment of their estate on terms that suit the developer, Barratt Developments, not locals. Just under 700 homes are to be smashed up to make way for 2,000 new units. Just under 1,500 will be sold privately: the rest will be “affordable”, which in the doublespeak of housing means unaffordable.

"Barnet council cannot say how many social-rental homes will be provided, but it is clear that whatever provision there is will be grudging. With a quick Google you’ll find a video of the chair of Barnet’s housing committee, Tom Davey, claiming that his council is providing affordable housing because people are buying them. An objector points out that only the wealthy can afford them and the young Conservative thumps the desk and says: 'Those are the people we want'."

Old Oak Common: Transport Super Hub

(8 October)

Evening Standard: Call to make rail hub 'Stratford of West'

THE planned rail hub at Old Oak Common needs to be the anchor for a 'Stratford of the West' and not just a place to change trains, a Transport for London official has said.

Michele Dix, TfL’s managing director of planning, told the Standard that good local rail connections would be just as important to the area as the HS2 and Crossrail stations.

She said:
"It needs people who live in the west and south-west of London to get to it not just to get on to HS2 but to get to work.

"[We don’t want the junction at Old Oak Common] just being a great big railway interchange like Crewe where you just change trains.

We want to ensure it supports homes and jobs and so we are working with colleagues to ensure that space for development can be made available but also the local connections.

We are consulting on the Overground. We are very keen to have a connection to link it to HS2 and Crossrail. That makes the whole area more of a centre, a bit like Stratford, which has a lot of connections into it."
"When HS2’s Birmingham-to-London section opens in 2026, around one third of the southbound passengers will change at Old Oak Common to connect to Crossrail.

"Old Oak’s proposed Crossrail station, on the new £16 billion line between Paddington and Acton Mainline, could be built in the early 2020s"

(14 October)


Habita: "Protest against MIPIM in London: Homes for people, not for profit"

"The world’s largest property fair, known as MIPIM, is coming to London for the first time in its 25-year history. Hundreds of property developers, financiers and politicians will be welcomed by the Mayor of London when they converge on Olympia to do deals that allow them to profit from our land and our neighbourhoods.

"This is creating unaffordable, insecure housing and contributing to the corporate takeover of our community space and public services. It means big profits for the richest 1% whilst destroying our communities and keeping millions in poverty.

"We don't need more luxury housing, office blocks and shopping centres. We don't want our neighbourhoods to be gentrified and entire communities evicted. We want quality genuinely affordable housing and public services for all.

"Join affected communities, the Radical Housing Network, the European Action Coalition for the Right to Housing and the City, trade unions, tenants groups and many others to say 'Our communities are not for sale!'

"London Mayor Boris Johnson will be giving an opening address welcoming the property developers and financiers who have come to profit from our communities. #BlockBoris on Wednesday 15 October, 9am.

"Meet outside Kensington Olympia tube, Olympia Way, W14 0NE."

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