[Reposted] West London Orbital railway - the route ahead

Questions to the Mayor

West London Orbital Railway [1]

Andrew Dismore (22-Mar-2018)
Do you welcome the proposals of the West London Alliance of boroughs to open a ‘West London Orbital’ railway, as part of London Overground?
The Mayor (22-Mar-2018)
I welcome the proposals to open a ‘West London Orbital’ railway. This new line could support the delivery of many new homes and jobs in west London, as well as improving connectivity across a wide area stretching from Barnet to Hounslow where there are currently limited public transport options for orbital travel. Given the support received for the West London Orbital rail line through the draft consultation on my Transport Strategy, I have strengthened my commitment to delivering the scheme in Proposal 88 of the final strategy, which now states: “The Mayor, through Transport for London (TfL), the West London Alliance boroughs and Network Rail, will work towards the delivery of a new London Overground 'West London Orbital' line connecting Hounslow with Cricklewood and Hendon via Old Oak, Neasden and Brent Cross.” TfL is now beginning the necessary feasibility work to take this proposal forward. I look forward to continuing the collaborative approach with the West London Alliance which has been invaluable in developing the proposal to this point.

West London Orbital Railway [2]

Andrew Dismore (22-Mar-2018)
Will you promote longer-distance trains along the ‘West London Orbital’ railway tracks, such as services between Surrey and Bedfordshire, via several of the London Opportunity Areas?
The Mayor (22-Mar-2018)
  I welcome support for the proposal to deliver a new West London Orbital railway line. On the basis of the support received through the consultation on my draft Transport Strategy, the Strategy has been amended to set out the potential route and its benefits in more detail.
   As the scheme is currently at feasibility stage, no decisions have yet been made regarding service operation. It should be noted that there are a number of capacity constraints on the route that would need to be addressed, notably the interfaces with the Midland Main Line north of Cricklewood, the North London line and the Hounslow loop. These may restrict the number and destination of services that can be offered on the route. There are also several freight services using the line. Taking these constraints into account, the core ambition will be to serve the already identified corridor, as this is where the key opportunity for delivering new homes and jobs lies.
   As is common with large infrastructure projects, further details relating to the design and operation of the scheme will be outlined through future public consultation.

West London Orbital Railway [3]

Andrew Dismore (22-Mar-2018)
   Will you intervene in Capita's plans for a new Brent Cross station if sufficiently long West London Orbital platforms are not included? [Should have said ‘separate and sufficiently long’.]
The Mayor (22-Mar-2018)
   I welcome the proposals to open a new ‘West London Orbital’ railway line. This new line could support the delivery of many new homes and jobs in west London, as well as improving connectivity across a wide area stretching from Barnet to Hounslow where there are currently limited public transport options for orbital travel.
   At the northern end of the proposed route, there is the potential to include a stop at the planned new Brent Cross Thameslink station to further support new development in the area.
   The new Thameslink station will be opened in 2022 and will be delivered as part of the Brent Cross West project. As the West London Orbital scheme is only in the early stages of development, any decision to serve Brent Cross will be dependent on future feasibility work. Subject to the outcome of this work, proposals for Brent Cross will look at whether it will be feasible to support the additional new development. The new Thameslink station will have 12 car long platforms, which would be of sufficient length to support any future West London Orbital service.


OPDC Local Cunning Plan Submission Explained

A Local Plan for an area sets the vision and framework for how it will develop over a twenty-year period.

The Local Plan for Old Oak and Park Royal, along with the London Plan (produced by the Mayor of London) and any neighbourhood plans, combine to form the overall development plan.

Since February 2016, OPDC have undertaken three rounds of public consultation with the community, local businesses and other stakeholders. These consultations have generated over 11,000 comments from you, which we’ve used to inform the development of the Local Plan.

On 4 October 2018 we submitted our Local Plan to the Planning Inspectorate for independent examination which will be carried out on behalf of the Secretary of State for the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

The final stage of creating a Local Plan

The independent examination is the final stage in the Local Plan process before it can be adopted as part of the legally binding development plan for the area.

The Planning Inspectorate, a government body who employ independent Planning Inspectors, will appoint an inspector to lead the independent examination of OPDC's Local Plan. The Planning Inspector will assess whether the Local Plan has been prepared in accordance with the legal and procedural requirements such as the Duty to Cooperate and whether it is 'Sound'. This will include consideration as to whether the Local Plan is:
  • Positively prepared – the plan should be prepared based on a strategy which seeks to meet objectively assessed development and infrastructure requirements, including unmet requirements from neighbouring authorities where it is reasonable to do so and consistent with achieving sustainable development;
  • Justified – the plan should be the most appropriate strategy, when considered against the reasonable alternatives, based on proportionate evidence;
  • Effective – the plan should be deliverable over its period and based on effective joint working on cross-boundary strategic priorities; and
  • Consistent with national policy – the plan should enable the delivery of sustainable development and must be in general conformity with the Mayor’s London Plan and the National Planning Policy Framework and National Planning Practice Guidance.

A key part of this stage in the process: Hearing sessions

Hearings sessions will be held for the Planning Inspector to examine the soundness of the Local Plan (as outlined above). Issues and questions identified by the Planning Inspector will determine the timetable of the hearings and who they will invite to attend. Those asked to attend hearings are called participants. Participants will include members of OPDC staff and selected stakeholders who submitted responses to the two most recent public consultations (held in 2017 and 2018).

Participants will provide responses to the Planning Inspector's issues and questions, these are called Hearing Statements. The Hearing Statements will be published on the website once made.

Hearing sessions are chaired by the Inspector and are open to the public but only participants identified by the Planning Inspector will be able to contribute during these meetings.

Expected timeframe

The expected timeframe is as follows:
*The timescales are indicative as each examination differs dependent on the complexity of the Local Plan being examined and questions arising from the Inspector.
Timing Key Actions Lead
Week 1
  • Local Plan submitted by OPDC
Week 2
  • Planning Inspector appointed and administrative review of Local Plan carried out
Planning Inspectorate
Weeks 3-4
  • Early appraisal of the Local Plan and identification of any issues and/or questions
  • Requests for any further information to address issues and/or questions
  • Structure and timetable of hearing sessions determined and participants identified
Planning Inspector
Weeks 5-6
  • Participants notified
  • Responses to Inspector’s issues and/or questions (Hearing Statements) developed by participants
Planning Inspector
Week 7
  • Hearing Statements submitted by participants
  • Participants confirmed
Planning Inspector
Week 8
  • Hearing Statements published on OPDC website
Planning Inspector
Week 9
  • Final hearing session agendas circulated to participants and published on OPDC website
Planning Inspector
Week 10+
  • Hearing sessions commence
Planning Inspector

The Planning Inspector’s next steps

Following the close of the hearings, the Inspector may identify main modifications needed in the Local Plan to make it sound. These changes would then require an additional six-week public consultation to be carried out.

After the close of this additional consultation, the Planning Inspector will draft their report, which may include any of the main modifications. OPDC must then make the main modifications set out in the Inspector’s Report to the Local Plan before it is then considered by the OPDC Planning Committee and Board for adoption.

Further information on the examination process can be found in the supporting document 'Procedural Practice in the Examination of Local Plan'.


Evening Standard: "Linford Christie sports stadium may get 13,000-seat concert arena"

Link to web site

"A major new concert venue could be built in west London to regenerate a sports stadium.

"Documents seen by the Standard reveal 'an event/performance venue is being considered' for the Linford Christie Outdoor Sports Centre, near Wormwood Scrubs prison in East Acton.

"Sources said it could have a capacity of 13,000. This would be slightly larger than the SSE Arena in Wembley, where artists such as Jason Derulo and the Smashing Pumpkins will perform this year, but smaller than Greenwich’s O2 Arena."


The Observer: "Will skyscrapers sink to new depths in British cities?"

"Councils are under pressure to build higher, but campaigners say new towers will ruin historic skylines"

Link to web site

"In Bristol, the city's mayor has announced that he wants its skyline to grow. In Norwich, the developers Weston Homes want to build a 'beacon' of 20 storeys, in the face of fears that it will trash views of 'one of Europe's great medieval cities', as Historic England put it. In Manchester, a city whose skyline has been changing for a while, the chairman of the city's civic society is running a crowdfunded campaign against a 40-storey tower that will, he says, 'despoil' and 'overbear' a historic area.

"British cities are facing the development pressures that, all around the world, push for building high. The tsunamis of skyscrapers in the Gulf and south-east Asia send out waves that wash the banks of the Avon and even inland Norfolk. There are certain twists special to Britain: austerity means that local authorities are particularly keen to grab whatever financial benefits a tower might bring, while it also weakens the underfunded planning departments that might direct and manage development."


Supply Management: "£1bn infrastructure spend for Old Oak HS2 site"

Link to web site

"Around £1bn of infrastructure investment is needed to develop the district that will surround the new HS2 station in West London.

"The interim head of the mayoral development corporation responsible for the redevelopment of Old Oak and Park Royal has said the site was 'one of the most complex' to develop.

"Speaking at the Public Sector Show, Michael Mulhern, interim CEO of Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation (OPDC), said: “There’s ultimately about £1bn worth of infrastructure needed to go in to unlock unlock the first phase of the development, which will ultimately deliver about 12,000 homes."


Until 30 July 2018: OPDC Local Plan: Final consultation stage, second attempt (Regulation 19, revised)

Timetable for production

The projected stages of the OPDC Local Plan production:
  • February 2016 - First draft Local Plan published for consultation
  • June 2017 - Revised draft Local Plan published for consultation
  • Autumn 2018 - Independent Examination of the Local Plan
  • Winter 2018 - Local Plan adoption.

Read me


OPDC: Place Review Group

"To help fulfil OPDC's aspirations to deliver development at a scale that is significant for both the London and the UK economy, we established a Place Review Group in 2015. This group has provided 'critical friend' advice to the OPDC as the planning policy framework and implementation plan for Old Oak and Park Royal have been taken forward.

"The OPDC Place Review Group brings together leading professionals, working at the highest level in their fields and is made up of 22 panel members, including the Chair." 

"The Place Review Group, now managed by Frame Projects on behalf of OPDC, operates as a panel of nationally and internationally recognised practitioners with a broad range of expertise and experience who will review and provide independent advice to OPDC on a range of planning applications, masterplans and other projects within Old Oak and Park Royal.#

"The Group aims to support OPDC in achieving high quality, innovative and sustainable placemaking and will play an advisory role by providing impartial advice to the OPDC Planning Committee and OPDC Board for consideration. 

"Experts from the planning, landscape, architecture, conservation and engineering industry make up the Group, including Peter Bishop, Professor of Urban Design at UCL and Director at Allies and Morrison, who is appointed Panel Chair. Peter held senior planning roles in central London boroughs for 25 years, working on major projects such as the King’s Cross railway lands development. He was the first Director of Design for London, and Deputy Chief Executive at the London Development Agency where he worked on the London Olympic Legacy Plans.

"The Place Review Group will operate in accordance with the 10 design review principles jointly agreed by Design Council CABE, the Landscape Institute, RTPI and RIBA."


GetWestLondon: "North Acton will have a 'greater density of population than Hong Kong' with tower blocks built on perfume factory site"

Link to web site

"Ealing councillors responsible for approving thousands of homes each year have admitted they still find the hugely complex calculations on amounts of affordable housing offered by developers difficult to understand - even though some of them have sat on the council's planning committee for many years.

"The admission came as the committee unanimously approving plans to build three high-rise tower blocks on the site of a former perfume factory in North Acton, at a meeting at Ealing Town Hall on Wednesday May 21.

"... Despite their lack of clarity over the figures, councillors eventually accepted the scheme for 380 homes at the former Elizabeth Arden perfume factory on Wales Farm Road, which was put forward by developer Essential Living."


Railway & Canal Historical Society: "The London Aircraft Production Group"

Society LINK

Dec 2017: High Speed 2 Ltd.: Old Oak Common consultation

2017-12 South+Area_Old+Oak+Common_WEB.compressed by scribdstorage on Scribd

TED: "The biggest risks facing cities - and some solutions"

"With fantastic new maps that show interactive, visual representations of urban fragility, Robert Muggah articulates an ancient but resurging idea: cities shouldn't just be the center of economics - they should also be the foundation of our political lives.

Looking around the world, from Syria to Singapore to Seoul and beyond, Muggah submits six principles for how we can build more resilient cities. 'Cities are where the future happens first. They're open, creative, dynamic, democratic, cosmopolitan, sexy,' Muggah says. 'They're the perfect antidote to reactionary nationalism."


ChiswickW4: "New Local Rail Line In Mayor's Transport Strategy"

Link to web site

"A preferred rail service option has been identified in a feasibility report with the first phase seeing a 4 train per hour service from West Hampstead to Hounslow, calling at West Hampstead, Cricklewood, Neasden, Harlesden, Old Oak Common (OOC) Victoria Road, Acton Central, South Acton, Brentford, Syon Lane, Isleworth, Hounslow.

"A second phase would see an additional 4 trains per hour from Hendon to Kew Bridge, calling at Hendon, Brent Cross, Neasden, Harlesden, OOC Victoria Road, Acton Central, South Acton to Kew Bridge. Phase 1 services are assumed to commence operation in 2026*, with phase 2 services running from 2029.

"The project has been led by the West London Alliance, with representatives of the boroughs of Barnet, Brent, Ealing and Hounslow, along with Transport for London and Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation, represented on the project Steering Group."

* The WLA says it could be three years earlier. LINK.


GetWestLondon: "Why controversial plans to build three high-rise tower blocks at former perfume factory in North Acton have been rejected"

Link to web site

"Controversial plans to build three high-rise tower blocks on the site of a former perfume factory in North Acton were rejected on Wednesday (February 21).

"Property developer Essential Living sought permission to build three blocks of flats, comprising of 390 homes, on the former Elizabeth Arden perfume factory site in Wales Farm Road.

"... Objecting to the development on the north of the site, Ealing resident Jonathan Notley told the committee meeting that the plans were 'misguided'.

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