HS2 Ltd.: "Changing Britain: HS2 Taking Root"

"Produced in collaboration with regional and local authorities Changing Britain: HS2 taking root outlines how HS2 is proving to be a catalyst for change and bringing about new approaches towards generating growth and productivity across the Midlands and the North, in areas not on the dedicated high speed line.

"The report underlines HS2’s vital role the economic plans and regeneration programmes for nine towns and cities and their surrounding regions. Regions are working together to maximise the benefits that HS2 will bring including on jobs and skills, trade and business growth, town centre regeneration, and integration into the regional transport network to spread the benefits as widely as possible.

"The different examples in the report show that investment in high speed rail can help:
  • drive a more competitive and diverse economy;
  • enable devolved, regional approaches to considering infrastructure, service improvements and regeneration as a whole;
  • encourage industrial and technology renewal by connecting economic hotspots;
  • reduce the social and environmental cost of historic economic imbalance, and;
  • increase aspiration and opportunity in local areas, embracing those areas seeking a greater stake in the nation’s prosperity."

Gladman: 'The Source', Nov 2016: "Neighbourhood Planning Bill Gains Shape & Meaning"

"In a sign of the reshaped Government's priorities during the remainder of its term, the first day after summer recess saw the Neighbourhood Planning Bill receive its Second Reading (10 October).

"In the ensuing debate, Sajid Javid agreed with the 'central thrust' of the Local Plan Expert Group's (LPEG) recommendations, submitted to Cameron’s government in March, in relation to reinforcing the duty-to-co-operate and ensuring that all areas have a plan in place as a statutory requirement. The LPEG report had also proposed changing the test of a plan’s soundness and reducing the evidence base required.

"The Bill evidently covers Neighbourhood Planning, but also the planning register, compulsory purchase and planning conditions, including the requirement to seek an applicants' agreement to pre-commencement conditions. On this, the acting shadow communities secretary Teresa Pearce said that:
"It is not pre-commencement planning conditions that slow planning consent, but the chronic underfunding of local planning authorities ... It is not pre-commencement planning conditions that slow new schemes coming forward, but the lack of strategic infrastructure involvement."
"Notably, the bill does not elevate the National Infrastructure Commission to a statutory body, which some believe could assist in housing delivery. Also conspicuous by its absence from the Bill, particularly to the opposition who seized on the Government's backtracking, was the abandonment of the Land Registry privatisation which Javid said 'will be [a decision] for the Government to make in future'; the second time this move has been postponed by the Tories.

"In a further twist, Gavin Barwell tabled further amendments, whilst giving evidence to The Neighbourhood Planning Bill's Scrutiny Committee, signalling abandonment of direct Government intervention in plan-making. Instead, the amendment would allow, 'The Secretary of State to direct two or more authorities to work together to produce a joint development plan document where that would ensure effective local planning in an area, for example, to address housing needs.'

"The Pursuit of a sub-regional planning agenda represents a significant change in Conservative strategy and even lead to Labour's Roberta Blackman-Woods to remark:
"I am very impressed by the new Minister's reading of the Lyons report that Labour produced a couple of years ago, because it is gradually being rolled out."


cgpgrey.com: "The End of Jobs"

British Film Institute: The Regent's Canal (soon to be part of the Grand Union)

"Travelling across London via the Regent’s canal by barge affords us unusual views of the capital. From the docks in Limehouse through east London, under Mile End Road, past Whitechapel, Kentish Town, King's Cross and Camden Lock we travel past London Zoo to finish in Paddington basin.

"Based on a successful magazine, the film series 'Wonderful London' captures the life of the capital in the 1920s. These simple travelogues contrast different aspects of city life; East End and West End, poor and rich, natives and immigrants, looking beyond the stereotypes to show surprising views of the city."


Evening Standard: "Imperial College's £200m 'rent-a-lab' complex opens in west London"

Limp to the web site

"A £200 million 'rent-a-lab' complex for businesses seeking to convert 'deep science' breakthroughs into commercial drugs and other products opens today in west London.

"The 13-storey I-Hub, next to the A40 flyover, is the first building other than student accommodation to be completed at Imperial College’s £3 billion White City campus. It has more than 50,000 sq ft of 'wet-lab' spaces for hire by companies that want to collaborate with Imperial researchers.

"The rest of the 187,000 sq ft complex will be used as 'incubator' and 'accelerator' space for businesses that do not need a laboratory."


[Reposted] "Transforming the Grand Union Canal from Paddington to West Drayton"

"You are invited to join us to find out about the improvements planned for over 16 miles of towpath between Paddington and West Drayton.

"We are holding a series of events between Sunday 23 and Saturday 29 October on board our floating visitor centre, Jena, to talk about the improvements and find out what you think.

"Supported by Transport for London’s Quietways programme, and building on previous improvements, we will be bringing huge benefits to everyone visiting and enjoying West London canals with:
  • better quality surfaces
  • wider paths
  • improved access points
  • new signs
with work beginning at the end of 2016.

"For more details and to give us your feedback please come along to one of our drop-in events or visit www.canalrivertrust.org.uk/BetterTowpaths

"Jena will be moored on the towpath at the following places – please do join us:
  • Sun 23, 11am-1pm: High St Yiewsley/West Drayton
  • Sun 23, 2.30-5.30: Western View, Hayes
  • Mon 24, 9.30-12.30: Uxbridge Road Visitor Moorings/Bankside, Southall
  • Mon 24, 2.30-5.30: Black Horse pub, Greenford
  • Tue 25, 8-10am & 6-8pm: Sainsbury’s/Piggery Bridge, Alperton
  • Wed 26, 1.30-5.30: Acton Lane Bridge/CafĂ© Riviera, Park Royal
  • Thu 27, 9.30am-1.30pm: Sainsbury’s canal side, Ladbroke Grove
  • Fri 28, 8-9.30am: Meanwhile Gdns/Gt Western Rd, Westbourne Park
  • Fri 28, Noon-2.30: Paddington Station canal side
  • Fri 28, 4.30–7pm: Meanwhile Gdns/Gt Western Rd, Westbourne Park
  • Sat 29, 10am-5pm: Sheldon Square canal side, Paddington

"We look forward to seeing you there!"

Jon Guest
London Waterway Manager
Canal & River Trust
The Toll House, Little Venice,
Delamere Terrace,
London W2 6ND

10 Nov & 12 Nov: Yet another Scrubs Lane development

The Grand Union Alliance reports:

"City & Docklands Ltd and Albany Homes Developments Ltd are currently undertaking public consultation regarding proposed development of the Mitre Yard site on Scrubs Lane.

"They will be holding a public exhibition at the City Mission Nursery on Scrubs Lane, NW10 6RB, on 
Thursday 10 November between 2pm and 7.30pm, and on Saturday 12 November between 10am and 2pm.

"As they mention at their email
'the site sits between Scrubs Lane and the train line, opposite from a row of businesses which back on to St Mary’s Cemetery. The canal is to the south of the site. At present, the site is used by a refuse and metal recycling plant'.

"They add that at this stage they are still working on the material to be presented at the exhibition and so the only available material is a red line image of the site."

If you have any questions about the development or would like to discuss any aspect of the site and would like to organise a meeting to be briefed, please contact

Josh Cole, Senior Account Executive,
Four Communications
0203 697 4347

Evening Standard: "Sadiq Khan: London’s future depends on developing the suburbs"

Link to web site

"London's future depends on housing and business opportunities for people living in the suburbs as much as the inner city, Sadiq Khan said today.

The Mayor's 'City for all Londoners' document published today wants to promote office space available in outer London and smaller scale housing developments close to town centres.

He said:
"Other global cities show that it is possible to increase the density of our suburbs without sacrificing the 'feel' of these areas."

Link to 'A City for all Londoners'


The London Society / All-Party Parliamentary Group for London’s Planning and Built Environment: Orbital railways for west London

"West London would be an excellent location to explore opportunities for Swift Rail and Rapid Transit. It is noticeably underserved with orbital lines and, whilst there is support for Crossrail 2, the proposed radial line is so expensive that it will probably never be commissioned and alternative routes will need to be investigated.

"West London Business has previously explored the idea of a West London Orbital Railway. In 2001, Symonds (now part of Capita) were asked to conduct research and identify a way to greatly improve the orbital public transport system.

"This work has not progressed but most recently assumed short driverless trains, similar to those on the Docklands Light Railway, running [totally in tunnel] between Brent Cross and Surbiton via Wembley, Ealing Broadway and Richmond. We wholeheartedly encourage West London Business to re-test the viability of this idea, for delivery in either the short-term or with a view to complementing Crossrail 2.

"Now is precisely the moment to open discussions about infrastructure in west London. In June 2016 the West London Economic Prosperity Board agreed the Vision for Growth Action Plan, which included a focus on identifying a small number of shared priorities relating to transport infrastructure.

"Possible shared sub-regional high-priority schemes, derived from Local Plans and Local Authority discussions, included an Orbital passenger rail service connecting regeneration schemes; linking Old Oak Common, Brent Cross and Brentford via Wembley along the current “Dudding Hill” freight line which would be activated as a passenger line.

"As has been demonstrated by the success of London’s orbital Overground system, suburban areas require connections at the supra-local level which enhance sub-regional connectivity as opposed to those which focus on central London. New radial connections don’t only create opportunities to get people to leave their cars behind and walk, bike or take public transport, but would relieve overcrowding on the M25 and North Circular road.

T"o live and work locally, within West London, would undoubtedly bring both environmental and social benefits. A Swift Rail service would bridge the gap which currently exists between the London Underground services and future Crossrail in scale and speed, providing a service at the sub-regional level. It is undoubtedly an approach which could be pioneered in locations such as west London.

"The Borough of Hillingdon has historically pressed for extending the Central Line to Uxbridge. There are, however, even better possibilities which could be achieved through a new Swift Rail link, ideally creating a new orbital service which is able to run from the centre of London towards Heathrow before providing a north-south orbital connection.

"The first of these routes could lie along the currently disused railway lines that previously ran from Uxbridge to the Great Western Railway near Hayes. There is also a section which runs from West Drayton and Yiewsley through to Staines in the south via Colnbrook and Yeoveney, with the possibility of being connected to Heathrow Airport.

"In addition to this it might also be possible with some ‘street-running’ to create a West London Orbital line to the north where it could be connected to the Chiltern Services line from Aylesbury to Marylebone by running via Brunel University. Together these connections would have the potential to transform the accessibility of West London, both at the local and regional level."


Event on 19 Oct, plus: Until 28 Oct: 93-97A Scrubs Lane and 115-129A Scrubs Lane: Planning applications

Both applications:
Start date: 30 September 2016
End date: 28 October 2016

'North Kensington Gate North'

OPDC has received a planning application for the redevelopment of 93-97A Scrubs Lane, NW10 6QU, known as 'North Kensington Gate North'. The application is for the demolition of the existing building and the construction of 48 residential units with 165sqm of commercial space on the ground floor. The development is proposed in 2 adjoining buildings of 4 and 11 storeys.

Application reference number:
Site location:
The application site (outlined in red on the map below) is located on the east side of Scrubs Lane (A219) opposite the junction with Hythe Road. The site backs on to St Mary's Cemetery which is to the east.

Description of development:
Demolition of existing buildings and redevelopment of the site to provide a new building ranging from 4 storeys (16.3 metres above ground level) to 11 storeys (39.9 metres above ground level) in height, comprising 165sqm (GIA) of ground floor commercial floorspace (use class A1/A2/A3) and 48 residential units (use class C3), with landscaping and associated works.

'North Kensington Gate South'

OPDC has received a planning application for the redevelopment of 115-129A Scrubs Lane, NW10 6QU, known as ‘North Kensington Gate South’. The application is for the demolition of the existing buildings and the construction of 170 residential units and 600sqm of commercial space.

The development is proposed in 3 adjoining buildings of 6, 8 and 22 storeys. The commercial space would be provided at ground floor level and in a mezzanine floor. A basement would be excavated to provide 32 car parking spaces. A total of 308 cycle parking spaces would be provided across the site.

Application reference number:
Site location:
The application site (outlined in red on the map below) is located on the east side of Scrubs Lane (A219) and to the north of the Mitre Bridge. The site backs on to St Mary’s Cemetery which is to the east.

Description of development:
Demolition of existing buildings and redevelopment of the site to provide a new building ranging from 6 storeys (25.1 metres above ground level) to 22 storeys (79.9 metres above ground level) in height over a new excavated basement, comprising 600sqm (GIA) of ground floor commercial floorspace (use class A1/A2/A3/B1a) and 170 residential units (use class C3), with basement car parking and plant space, landscaping and associated works.

Consultation deadline:
5.00pm on 28 October 2016

Contact details:
Call us on 020 5783 5732 or email

Further information:

The planning application documents can be viewed on the OPDC Planning Register. Please search using the application reference numbers above.

OPDC will be hosting a public presentation event on Wednesday 19 October 2016 at The Co-Club, 140 Wales Farm Road, North Acton, W3 6UG between 6.30pm – 8.00pm.

The event will be chaired by OPDC officers and will include a presentation of the proposals by the Applicant followed by a question and answer session. The presentation is free to attend but spaces will be limited and attendance will be on a first come first served basis.

New HS2 Big Cheese

"HS2 Ltd is pleased to announce that Roy Hill has been appointed Interim CEO and will take up his new position in November.

"Commenting on the appointment, HS2 Ltd Chairman David Higgins said:
"I'm pleased to welcome Roy Hill back to the team.

His understanding of the project and the industry puts him in an excellent position to continue the significant progress made under Simon Kirby while we continue our search for a permanent CEO.

Roy's secondment from CH2M will allow HS2 to benefit from his broad experience overseeing some of the world’s most complex infrastructure projects.

He is uniquely qualified to fill this interim role, seeing HS2 through its upcoming milestones and into the start of construction next year."


"Baby boomers have already taken all the houses, now they're coming for our brunch" (Comment: "Whinge, whinge, moan, moan, 'Oh I'm a victim, I'm a victim, the Guardian will publish me, I'm a victim'")

"Brunch is the opiate of the masses. We are not going out for brunch instead of buying houses: we are brunching because we cannot afford to buy houses"

Link to The Guardian

"... Brunch has become a lifestyle – fetishised as much as the property market (the New York Times calls it the brunch industrial complex). But the price point of entry is much lower than property – you have to take what you can get.

"This is depressing, not because it stops young people from saving for houses, but because time in restaurants or lingering for hours over brunch means less time for the necessary activism or political action against the offensively unequal society we are now living in.

"We’re rolling out of cafes, too jacked up on the third latte, groaning from the pulled pork mascarpone pancake stack, to meaningfully fight the man on income inequality, negative gearing and unaffordable housing. But, boy, we need to."


The Government: "Transport Secretary confirms government commitment to HS2"

"Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has set out the urgent need for a new high speed, high capacity railway line to give Britain the infrastructure it needs.

The Transport Secretary has confirmed that the government is committed to pressing ahead with HS2 to tackle the looming capacity crisis the rail network faces and to help boost jobs and regeneration along the line of the route and across the country. Construction is due to begin on the scheme in the first half of next year.

He has also today (11 October 2016) confirmed plans to make £70 million of government funds available to support local communities and road safety along the route between London and the West Midlands. Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said:
"We need HS2 now more than ever.

We're facing a rapidly approaching crunch-point. In the last 20 years alone, the number of people travelling on our railways has more than doubled and our rail network is the most intensively used of any in Europe.

We need HS2 for the capacity it will bring on the routes between London, the West Midlands, Crewe, Leeds and Manchester as well as the space it’ll create elsewhere on our transport network.

We need it for the boost it will give to our regional and national economies.

And we need it for the jobs it will create, and for the way it will link our country together."
The £70 million is made of 3 separate funds:
  • the HS2 Community and Environment Fund (CEF)
  • the Business and Local Economy Fund (BLEF), which together total £40 million
  • £30 million road safety fund.
The CEF will help enhance community facilities, improve access to the countryside and conserve the natural environment along the HS2 Phase One line of route, while the BLEF will support local economies in areas where businesses may experience disruption from the construction of HS2.

The 2 funds will provide £40 million which is set to be allocated at a regional level:
  • £15 million for the Central area (Staffordshire, Warwickshire and Buckinghamshire)
  • £7.5 million for Greater London
  • £7.5 million for the West Midlands (Birmingham, Solihull and Coventry)
  • £10 million unallocated to allow flexibility to fund cross-border or route wide projects.
  • The allocations were made by Cathy Elliott, the independent chair of the CEF and BLEF funds, following recommendations from the House of Commons HS2 hybrid Bill Select Committee.
Cathy Elliott said:
"Allocation of the funds in this way allows communities to have an indication of the level of funding available while maintaining some flexibility to ensure that the overarching objective of the funds are met.

Allocating the funding on a regional level will allow the funding of larger schemes which are likely to deliver a long lasting legacy."
"Community groups, charities, non-governmental organisations and business support specialists will be able to bid for grants from the CEF and BLEF funds, which are expected to be rolled out when construction starts in 2017 and will be awarded until the end of HS2's first year of operation in 2026. The detailed application guidance for the 2 funds will be published in due course. Following the launch of the funds grant-making rounds are expected to take place every 3 to 6 months.

"A separate £30 million road safety fund will be used to make improvements in places along the line of route – for instance to support traffic calming, safer junctions or better pedestrian crossings. Further details on this fund will be announced in due course.

"A decision on the HS2 Phase Two route to Manchester and Leeds will be taken in the Autumn."


Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation Community Infrastructure Levy Preliminary Draft Charging Schedule consultation (Hurrah!)

Community Infrastructure Levy Consultation

Start date: 03 October 2016
End date: 25 November 2016

What is the Community Infrastructure Levy ?
The Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL)is a levy that local authorities in England and Wales can charge on new developments in their area. The money generated from CIL can be used to pay for a wide range of infrastructure including:
  • transport
  • schools
  • community facilities
  • health and leisure facilities
  • emergency services.
Section 106 agreements will continue to be used in conjunction with CIL, to secure affordable housing and site specific mitigation measures.

Subject to certain exceptions, the OPDC CIL rates will be applicable in the following circumstances: where the net increase in floorspace (gross internal area) of the development is at least 100 sqm, or it involves creating one or more new dwellings, even where this is below 100 sqm where a vacant building is being brought back into use where the proposed use is identified in OPDC's CIL charging schedule as a chargeable use You can find out more by reading the Government’s National Planning Practice Guidance.

The types of infrastructure that may be funded in whole, or in part, by CIL are set out in a document referred to as the Regulation 123 List.

The types of infrastructure the OPDC CIL may be used to fund are set out in the draft OPDC Regulation 123 List and as Appendix 2 of the OPDC Preliminary Draft Charging Schedule. Comments on the draft Regulation 123 list are welcome as part of our consultation, starting from 3rd October 2016 to 25 November 2016.
Preliminary Draft Charging Schedule (PDCS) documents
On 21 September 2016, the OPDC Board agreed that the CIL Preliminary Draft Charging Schedule (PDCS) and background documents (including the Development Infrastructure Funding Study Viability Study and the draft Regulation 123 List) be published for public consultation.

OPDC is inviting comments from interested individuals and organisations on these documents. The consultation period will run for eight weeks from 3 October 2016 to 25 November 2016.

The Preliminary Draft Charging Schedule and supporting documents are:
If you have any questions regarding these documents, or would like to discuss any aspect, please attend one of the consultation events or contact OPDC directly on 020 7983 5542 or email.

If you would like to view the hard copies of the OPDC CIL related documents mentioned above, they are available to view at:
    • Acton Town Hall Library, High Street W3 6NE
    • Brent Civic Centre, Engineers Way, Wembley HA9 0AF
    • City Hall, Queens Walk, London SE1 2AA
    • Ealing Council Offices, Perceval House 14/16 Uxbridge Road W5 2HL
    • Hammersmith Town Hall, King Street W6 9JU
    • Harlesden Library NW10 8SE
    • Old Oak Community Centre, Braybrook Street W12 0AP
    • Shepherd’s Bush Library, 6 Wood Lane W12 7BF
We want to hear from you!
We're keen to involve the community in the development of CIL and are therefore holding a number of consultation events so that you can find out more and share your priorities with us. Three community workshop sessions are being held on:
Responses can be made on our short questionnaire or by direct comment either by email or posted to:
CIL PDCS Consultation
Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation
City Hall
The Queen’s Walk
London SE1 2AA

Comments must be received no later than midnight on 25 November 2016.

Register to attend a CIL consultation


Evening Standard: Light rail at Old Oak Common

The Economist: "Who’s self-driving your car? The battle for driverless cars revs up"

Link to web site

"With its successful test of robo-taxis on the streets of Pittsburgh last week, Uber has dominated recent headlines on autonomous vehicles. But behind the scenes three groups—technology giants such as Uber, carmakers and a whole fleet of autoparts suppliers—are in a tight race. Each is vying to develop the hardware and software that make up the complex guts of a self-driving vehicle.

"... Carmakers are making more of the running after a slow start. Despite recent safety concerns, Tesla, an electric-car maker, is making progress with its Autopilot system. In 2017 Volvo, which is also working with Uber to get cars to drive themselves, will test self-driving cars by handing them for the first time to a select group of ordinary motorists. And in August, Ford said it would launch a fully-autonomous car, without steering wheel or pedals, for car-sharing schemes by 2021."

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