Tue 9/Wed 10 Feb: The-developer-that-used-to-be-a-housing-association Genesis, plus QPR/Stadium Developments, consults on already-submitted Oaklands planning application

(Yes, you will have to rotate it somehow.)

(Aug 2015) GetWestLondon: "Student halls in North Acton shortlisted in search for ugliest new building" [eventually beaten by the walkie-talkie]

"Jonathan Notley, who nominated Woodward Hall for Building Design magazine's Carbuncle Cup, says it should be the architects' 'tombstone'"

Link to web site

"Student halls in North Acton have made the shortlist of a competition to find Britain's ugliest new building.

"Woodward Hall, which is home to Imperial College London (ICL) students, has reached the final six of Building Design magazine's annual Carbuncle Cup.

"The 19-storey edifice was so ugly, according to nominator Jonathan Notley, that it inspired him to run for Parliament at the last election in a stand against what he saw as over-development in the area."

[Reposted from Oct 2015] Evening Standard: North Acton Imperial College high-rise


Science Museum move to Old Oak Common (on to LB of Hammersmith & Fulham freehold land, not Cargiant)

"... the government will also provide £150 million to provide new world-class museum storage facilities to replace Blythe House Olympia in London." - Chancellor George Osborne, Autumn Statement 2015

Small object storage
"The Science Museum galleries are stuffed with over 15,000 objects. However, more than 170,000 more of our objects are hidden away in Blythe House. Many of these have never been on public display.

"The massive labyrinth of storerooms at Blythe House is home to everything from beautifully crafted telescopes and early examples of operating tables to Stone Age tools and freeze-dried genetically modified animals.

"The basement and the majority of rooms on the ground floor are occupied by objects from the collections of the Wellcome Trust, which are artefacts of the history of medicine. The ground floor also houses part of our pictorial collections and then the remaining four floors hold the rest of the objects, arranged by collection.

"There are over 90 rooms in total dedicated to holding our objects, from the very small to the very large.

"Also at Blythe House is a conservation laboratory, where our conservators work across a range of objects to preserve their condition. We also have a photographic studio, where objects are photographed for our records and publications. There's also a quarantine area (where incoming objects are checked before being transferred to the main rooms) and a research room."

"Blythe House was originally built as the headquarters of the Post Office Savings Bank. This Government-owned bank was set up to provide a way of generating public investment and providing a way for the ordinary person to save some money.

"The large, multi-floored building was at one point home to 7,000 clerks, who worked in gender-separated areas to process savings transactions. The Blythe House address is famous from having been printed inside millions of saving account passbooks, some of which are still occasionally sent to us (we do, of course, forward them on to right people). For the past few decades, the Science Museum, British Museum, and Victoria & Albert Museum have shared the use of the building as a place to store reserve collections of small and medium sized objects."

"With the buildings blacked out to help preserve the objects, the building is now a dark and brooding space filled floor to ceiling with thousands of weird and wonderful things that most people will never see."

Big Object storage
"Our big objects are currently held at the Science Museum at Wroughton, a former Second World War airfield.

"The Wroughton site is a Second World War maintenance airfield in Wiltshire. It has been occupied by the Science Museum since the 1970s, when many of our large civil aircraft were flown into the site. The site also stores our large-scale objects which are not on display and cannot be located at Blythe House.

"Seven aircraft hangars house items from the science, engineering, transport and agricultural reserve collections. There is also a research store, built in 1993, which has a stable environment and is ideal for less robust large objects. These are working stores and, as such, are not open to the public."

'Science Museum at Old Oak Common' visualisation


Old Oak Common: Not the 'Boris Johnson Memorial Library', it's going to be The Science Museum

"The Science Museum is to establish a major new building at the centre of the redevelopment in Old Oak Common.
"The Standard revealed yesterday that Boris Johnson is in talks to bring a 'household name' organisation to the west London site, which is currently occupied by the Cargiant used car lot.

"Although the identity of the 'world-famous cultural institution' has not been officially revealed, senior City Hall sources confirmed it is the South Kensington museum.

"The 46-acre site will be turned into a neighbourhood with up to 7,000 homes, known as Old Oak Park, next to the Grand Union Canal after Cargiant moves out in 2021."

Evening Standard

Vrooom! Vrooom! Cargiant's Old Oak Common plan

[Reposted] From 28 January: Cargiant development consultation

"Cargiant: The Movie": Introduced by Airmiles Eddie.


Cargaint announce that Old Oak Common will house the Boris Johnson Memorial Library

"'Famous institution' will move to Old Oak Common culture zone"

Link to Evening Standard

"A 'world famous cultural institution' is to relocate to Old Oak Common, in a breakthrough for Boris Johnson’s plans to turn the desolate swathe of railway sidings and industrial estates into a thriving new west London district.

"The Mayor is expected to confirm that the 'household name' will move to the site currently occupied by second-hand car dealership Cargiant, the Standard has learned.

"It will be at the heart of a cultural quarter in a £5 billion new town with 7,000 homes — known as Old Oak Park — next to the Grand Union Canal."


Wed 10 Feb: Park Royal Skills and Apprenticeship Fair

Park Royal Skills and Apprenticeship Fair

10 February 2016, 
12noon to 7pm
Abbey Manor, 
28 Abbey Road, 
Park Royal, 
NW10 7SB
A skills and apprenticeship fair providing an opportunity for residents to learn about apprenticeships, apply for vacancies, and take part in hands on taster sessions.

The day will include workshops, talks from high profile businesses, CV writing skills and access to employment advice.

The event is open to anyone age 16 to 25 interested in apprenticeships, and anyone looking for employment. Many businesses attending will have vacancies you can apply for at the event, so don't forget to bring your CV with you. The event is free, and anyone can drop in from 12 to 5pm.

Register to attend the event

For Park Royal businesses, the event is an opportunity to promote vacancies and apprenticeship positions to a wide audience of Brent residents and young people seeking work, specialist support and advice with recruitment and apprenticeships, high profile industry speakers and B2B networking opportunities.

The last hour of the event is specifically focused on businesses, with a networking drinks reception taking place for employers looking for find out more about apprenticeships and recruitment in Brent.

Register to attend the networking reception

For more information, email charlotte.barratt@brent.gov.uk


GLA: "New initiative launched to protect and strengthen Park Royal"

"The Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation (OPDC) is today (20 Jan 2016) launching a new initiative that aims to strengthen London’s largest industrial estate and support its future competitiveness.

"Park Royal in West London is home to 2,000 businesses and employs more than 30,000 people. It is home to successful UK brands including Carphone Warehouse and Diageo as well as hundreds of small independent businesses which play a vital role in supporting London’s economy.

"The estate, often dubbed 'London’s Kitchen', is situated adjacent to Old Oak, a major new development area in London. Old Oak is set to become home to a world-class High Speed 2 (HS2) and Crossrail Station by 2026, 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 Mayor of London, Boris Johnson MP believes the development at Old Oak, and enhancement of the industrial estate at Park Royal has the potential to create up to 65,000 jobs, making a major contribution to London’s future economic growth. In April last year he established the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation (OPDC) to spearhead the regeneration of the area.

"Relatively little was known about the diversity of Park Royal’s businesses until the Mayor published the Park Royal Atlas in 2014. This identified key sectors including food manufacturing, logistics and the film industry. The Atlas revealed that during the course of a year, Park Royal businesses provide London with 240,000 bouquets of flowers, 300,000 rolls of sushi, 3,000 recording sessions and supply 24,000 books to university libraries.

"To ensure that Park Royal remains competitive into the future, and that its businesses are able to take full advantage of the investment at Old Oak, OPDC is now starting to develop a Park Royal Business Plan. This will see the OPDC engaging directly with companies to hear their thoughts and concerns about the challenges and opportunities they face so that an effective plan can be developed to ensure they can continue to thrive.

"OPDC's vision for the Park Royal Business Plan will be unveiled today at an event hosted by the West London Business Group at Park Royal business Fit Out UK, attended by local businesses, stakeholders and the local MPs.

Sir Edward Lister, Deputy Mayor for Planning and Chairman of the OPDC said:
"Since its beginnings over a century ago, Park Royal has become one of the most significant industrial areas in Europe, boasting some hugely successful businesses and acting as a key driver of the capital’s economy. We want Park Royal companies to be at the very forefront of this vast regeneration scheme so they can reap the huge benefits and continue to thrive and grow for another hundred years."
Victoria Hills, OPDC Chief Executive Officer said:
"Over the coming months we will be reaching out to the businesses of Park Royal and beyond so we can understand what will make it successful and competitive in the short, medium, and longer term. We are at the beginning of an incredibly exciting journey and we look forward to a long and successful relationship with Park Royal as we work to deliver one of London's most exciting districts."
"The development of the business plan will be managed by Lori Hoinkes, recently appointed as the OPDC's dedicated Park Royal Business Manager. Lori joins the Corporation from the private sector, where she has held senior management roles across major manufacturing companies in both Canada and the UK.

Rahul Gokhale, Co-Chair, Park Royal Business Group and OPDC Board member said:
"Park Royal businesses are aware that Park Royal faces a number of challenges and that upcoming development in the area will add further pressure to local infrastructure. However, we believe OPDC offers an opportunity for Park Royal to get the attention and support it needs and we welcome the appointment of Lori as the dedicated Park Royal Manager."
"In the near future, the OPDC will be developing a programme of engagement with local businesses including hosting workshops and conducting surveys to develop long-term objectives for Park Royal, alongside developing practical actions to remove key barriers to growth, and create longer term opportunities."


Project for Public Spaces: "Placemaking and the Human Scale City"

Link to web site

"The term 'human scale' has shown up a few times in our hometown news over the past several months, as a coalition called New Yorkers for a Human Scale City has organized to fight Mayor DeBlasio’s sweeping zoning changes (among other things). The group calls for:
"an end to the violence that real estate developers have inflicted on our skyline, parks, public areas, and cityscape with the proliferation of dramatically over-scaled buildings that ignore the historic context of our city."
"With counterparts in major cities around the globe, these human scale advocates share a common concern about the impacts of unrestricted development on our neighborhoods. Project for Public Spaces is active in this international discussion, but rather than directly protesting developers or luxury housing or zoning changes, we frame the conversation differently – everyone has the right to live in a human scale city, and one way to achieve this is through placemaking."


BBC: "Have we fallen out of love with the car permanently?"

Vrrrrm to the web site

"Ten years ago, a woman called Barbara Noble asked an important question: 'Why are some young people choosing not to drive?'

"Barbara was a statistician at the Department for Transport and her report was trying to untangle a mystery.

"For decades, the richer Britain got, the more people drove. But somewhere in the 1990s things changed. The economy was bouncing along nicely, but our car mileage stayed flat.

"In fact, if you singled out young people, especially young men, we were driving a lot less.

"What Barbara's report had touched on was something that eventually became known as 'Peak Car' - the idea that we had permanently fallen out of love with our cars."


Evening Standard: "A fanfare for Old Oak Common" (or: "Property Vultures Gather")

"...An affordable regeneration area with huge scope for development is Old Oak Common. Plans for 25,000 new homes and a railway hub the size of Waterloo could see the semi-derelict 383-acre site in north-west London turn into the capital’s biggest regeneration project since Stratford.

Mayor Boris Johnson believes Old Oak Common's potential is 'unprecedented' and that its benefits will spill out into surrounding areas, including Park Royal, North Acton and Willesden Junction.

"This is a project in its very early stages. Developer London and Regional Properties is consulting on plans for 9,000 new homes between Wormwood Scrubs and Willesden Junction, which it has named Old Oak Park. But for those willing to take a long-term approach, the streets of former railway workers' cottages around Willesden Junction are starting to look like a very sensible buy.

" 'We are already starting to get that sort of interest, especially from investors and first-time buyers,' says Tony Bunce, branch partner of Daniels estate agents. 'The average price of one of the workers’ cottages is about £500,000 — you would pay that for a two-bedroom flat in Kensal Rise.'

"The compromise is that Willesden Junction is a far from glamorous location at the moment, although it is in Zone 2 and only a half-hour commute to the West End. Locally, Behesht, a Persian restaurant in Harrow Road, is recommended for its good food and frankly extraordinary décor.

"However, for nightlife, shopping and café culture, residents will need to travel — although not that far. Queen's Park is two Overground stops away, with Westfield at Shepherd's Bush less than a 15-minute hop. 'I think that in 10 years’ time, the area will be completely different,' says Bunce."

Daily Telegraph: Bob the Builder comes to Old Oak Common (or words to that effect)

"Thousands of new homes to be built by smaller builders: Government runs out of patience with big developers"

Link to web site

"The Government is to step in to help ensure that thousands of new homes are built after apparently running out of patience with the housebuilding industry.

David Cameron will set out plans today for the Government directly to 'commission' more than 10,000 new homes on publicly owned land.

"... Under the plan, the Government will arrange for planning permission to be granted at five areas in England and then offer the sites to developers.

"... The construction of the first wave of up to 13,000 directly commissioned homes – 40 per cent of which will be starter homes - will begin this year in Dover, Chichester, Gosport, Northstowe in Cambridgeshire and Old Oak Common in north west London."

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