Architects' Journal: "Old Oak Common regeneration is a train crash and City Hall is to blame"

"You cannot make great pieces of city simply by setting housing targets," writes Paul Finch

Link to web site

"The biggest housing and jobs initiative in the country, being overseen by the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation (OPDC), will have to be massively scaled back following devastating findings by the planning inspector in respect of its draft local plan.

"In a nutshell, the inspector has upheld the views of the biggest landowner affected, Cargiant, that the proposed plan is a dead duck. He found that, instead of delivering 25,000 homes and 65,000 jobs, the development corporation should scale this back to 14,200 and 37,590 respectively – because plans to develop Cargiant's land are 'unviable and ought to be deleted from the plan'.

"This all took me back to the summer of 2015, when I started chairing a small design panel for Cargiant and London & Regional Properties. The joint venture planned to redevelop Cargiant's site (at Old Oak Park, where it employs some 800 people, mostly engineers working to bring used cars up to scratch prior to resale)."


Brent & Kilburn Times: "OPDC hit back after Cargiant slam 'flawed plan' for regeneration"

Link to web site

"On one side, the world's biggest used car dealership. On the other, plans for the biggest development in London since the 2012 Olympics.

"Emboldened by a planning inspector's ruling this month that the Old Oak Park Development Corporation (OPDC) 'should delete' tracts of land used by Cargiant for its used car operation south of Willesden Junction, the business has gone further and argued the OPDC's entire business plan is 'seriously flawed'.

"But the OPDC has hit back, claiming more than 7,000 homes 'have been or are soon to be delivered' and saying its plans are on track."


Brent & Kilburn Times: "[Most] Cargiant-owned land should be removed from project, planning inspector says"

Link to web site

"The flagship Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation should not include a controversial tract of land owned by Cargiant, a planning inspector has recommended.

"Reviewing the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation's (OPDC) draft local plan, Paul Clark decided that inclusion of [most of the] land owned by Cargiant south of WIllesden Junction station was 'unviable' and that, if developed, it couldn't yield enough profit to pay for moving the business elsewhere, even if no affordable homes or subsidised infrastructure were built there."


Department for Transport: "Terms of reference for the independent review of HS2"

The Prime Minister has stated his wish to review “whether and how we proceed” with HS2 ahead of the ‘Notice to Proceed’ decision for Phase 1 (London-West Midlands) due by the end of 2019. The review will assemble and test all the existing evidence in order to allow the Prime Minister, the Secretary of State for Transport and the government to make properly-informed decisions on the future of Phases 1 and 2 of the project, including the estimated cost and schedule position.
For the whole HS2 project, the review should rigorously examine and state its view on:
  • whether HS2 Ltd is in a position to deliver the project effectively, taking account of its performance to date and any other relevant information
  • the full range of benefits from the project, including but not limited to:
    • capacity changes both for services to cities and towns on HS2 and which will not be on HS2
    • connectivity
    • economic transformation including whether the scheme will promote inclusive growth and regional rebalancing
    • environmental benefits, in particular for carbon reduction in line with net zero commitments
    • the risk of delivery of these and other benefits, and whether there are alternative strategic transport schemes which could achieve comparable benefits in similar timescales
  • the full range of costs of the project, including but not limited to:
    • whether HS2 Ltd’s latest estimates of costs and schedule are realistic and are comparable to other UK infrastructure
    • why any cost estimates or schedules have changed since the most recent previous baselines
    • whether there are opportunities for efficiencies
    • the cost of disruption to rail users during construction
    • whether there are trade-offs between cost and schedule; and whether there are opportunities for additional commercial returns for the taxpayer through, for example, developments around stations, to offset costs
    • what proceeding with Phase 1 means in terms of overall affordability, and what this means in terms of what would be required to deliver the project within the current funding envelope for the project as a whole
  • whether the assumptions behind the business case, for instance on passenger numbers and train frequencies, are realistic, including the location and interconnectivity of the stations with other transport systems, and the implications of potential changes in services to cities and towns which are on the existing main lines but will not be on HS2
  • for the project as a whole, how much realistic potential there is for cost reductions in the scheme as currently planned through changes to its scope, planned phasing or specification, including but not limited to:
    • reductions in speed
    • making Old Oak Common the London terminus, at least for a period
    • building only Phase 1
    • combining Phases 1 and 2a
    • different choices or phasing of Phase 2b, taking account of the interfaces with Northern Powerhouse Rail
  • the direct cost of reprioritising, cancelling or de-scoping the project, including but not limited to: contractual penalties; the risk of legal action; sunk costs; remediation costs; supply chain impact; and an estimate of how much of the money already spent, for instance on the purchase of land and property, could be recouped
  • whether and how the project could be reprioritised; in particular, whether and, if so how, Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) (including the common sections with HS2 Phase 2b) could be prioritised over delivering the southern sections of HS2
  • whether any improvements would benefit the integration of HS2, NPR and other rail projects in the north of England or Midlands
  • any lessons from the project for other major projects

Review team and support

The review will be chaired by Doug Oakervee. The deputy chair will be Lord Berkeley. There will also be a panel consisting of Michele Dix, Stephen Glaister, Patrick Harley, Sir Peter Hendy, Andrew Sentance, Andy Street, John Cridland and Tony Travers. Each will focus on a specific area of interest; they will feed in to and be consulted on the report’s conclusions, without having a right of veto in the event that consensus cannot be reached.

Support will be provided by the Department for Transport. Sufficient support will be needed to allow a searching and rigorous review in a relatively short time. The review team will be provided with any papers and persons they request. Undertakings of confidentiality will be entered into with the Chair, Deputy Chair, panel, and others as necessary.

Reporting and publication

The review will report to the Secretary of State for Transport with oversight from the Prime Minister and the Chancellor of the Exchequer. It should produce a written report suitable for publication.


The review should submit its final report in autumn 2019.


The Observer: "Left in a siding: the rail link that could make Heathrow greener"

"Airport and Department for Transport fight shy of backing new line from Staines that would slash car usage"

"Life is easy for the toads and bats of Staines-upon-Thames: the disused railway line has formed a woodland corridor that runs north towards Heathrow. Terminal 5 is just a mile or so further on as the bat flies. But to reach it from Staines station would take a hapless rail passenger almost two hours via three trains.

"That could drop to just six minutes under plans to link Staines and other parts of Surrey to the airport. Yet as Heathrow prepares for a major consultation on its third runway on Tuesday, new rail links are just an option, despite the argument that they would help tackle the airport's pollution problem. They would also be a clear answer to transport secretary Chris Grayling's call for 'market-led' proposals for new railway lines.

"As a precondition of Heathrow expansion, parliament has stipulated that the proportion of passengers travelling to and from the airport on public transport must rise from 39% to 50%."


My London: "The 'living hell' of life next to Ealing HS2 construction site - where walls shake and air pollution is soaring"

Link to web site

"Constant shaking from HS2 construction work has East Acton residents describing a 'living hell', with some fearing for the structural safety of their homes.

"One mother living on Wells House Road said the air pollution coming from the Old Oak Common site had seen her 12-year-old son hospitalised with breathing difficulties and put on oxygen, despite not having asthma.

"Meanwhile, a 155-metre-long, three-metre-high concrete retaining wall supporting many of the gardens on the road is becoming a serious safety concern, with an engineering report saying it is in poor condition, and needs shoring up."

[New train services via Old Oak Common] 'Wembley Matters': "'Full participation on Brent Cross West Station plans or we will go to law,' Capita-Barnet told"

Link to web site

"The Coalition for a Sustainable Brent Cross was formed a long time ago and consisted of several political groups, including the Green Party, Liberal Democrats and Labour politicians as well as individuals. trade councils and community organisations. It has had ups and downs as the plans ebbed and flowed but Alison Hopkins has written to Capita-Barnet, who handle the Brent Cross Thames Link project, calling for full public participation ahead of the submission of any planning application for Brent Cross West station.

"... The collapse of the car-based Brent Cross shopping centre expansion has met one of main aims of the Coalition, which has been to oppose Barnet council’s predicted 29,000 extra car journeys every day in the area. That has been opposed based on both unwanted road congestion and what is now called the global heating emergency.


South China Morning Post: "Regency Heights: connected London living without the price tag"

"Part of the UK's largest regeneration project, Regency Heights in Park Royal is a chance to invest in London's most significant new district"

Link to web site

"London has timeless appeal for overseas property buyers, and investing in the UK capital isn't only for the wealthy. Those deterred by Central London property prices can find bargains and high returns by looking west to Old Oak and Park Royal, the UK's largest regeneration area centred on one of London's major transport hubs.

"Just over 20 minutes from the city centre by road or rail, the £26 billion (HKD 267.25bn) regeneration masterplan for the district will see Old Oak Common become the only high-speed rail interchange served by both Crossrail and HS2. Improving access across London, South East England and the wider UK, this will serve to make property in the area even more sought-after and is expected to drive up prices and rents considerably in the coming years.

"This burgeoning area is already seeing high demand from high-end tenants attracted by cheaper prices than Central London. Even in the early stage of regeneration, property values for single-bed and three-bedroom apartments in NW10 increased by 56 percent from 2013 to 2018, with rent values up 13 to 17 percent over the same period. The arrival of Crossrail, HS2 and other amenities will see this price growth accelerate in the years ahead." [Unless it doesn't.]


Until 3 March 2019: "HS2 Ltd.: Old Oak Common Station design engagement"

Click to enlarge images

"The new HS2 Old Oak Common Station will help kick-start the UK' largest regeneration project, which aims to transform the former railway and industrial area, into a new neighbourhood supporting up to 65,000 jobs and 25,500 new homes.

"The new station will be built on the former Great Western Railway depot at Old Oak Common in North West London. When the high speed services start running in 2026, it will take only nine minutes to get to London Euston and 38 minutes to Birmingham Curzon Street.

"The six high-speed platforms will be situated underground with an integrated connection to the adjoining conventional station at ground level via a stylish shared overbridge providing seamless connections between HS2 and Elizabeth line (Crossrail) trains, to Heathrow and central London.

Station design so far

"The station design has been developed by engineering consultants, WSP, and architects, WilkinsonEyre, and so far it includes plans for:
  • A light and airy concourse linking both halves of the station.
  • A soaring roof inspired by the site’s industrial heritage.
  • A new public park to welcome visitors and provide a new focal point for the growing community.
  • New shops and retail spaces.
  • Seamless interchanges to other train services and alternative types of transport such as the bus, walking and cycling networks.

"You can find out more about our station design in our Old Oak Common Station Design leaflet here.

Your views on the station design

"We would like to hear your views on our design vision and the themes of the developing design for Old Oak Common Station. In particular, we would like to understand your views on our design objectives around:
  • The use of public spaces in and around the station.
  • Enabling growth and regeneration in the area.
  • Celebrating local heritage in its designs.
  • Connecting the local area.
  • Integrating into the wider Old Oak Common area.

Complete our questionnaire online or offline

"Please let us know your views by completing our online questionnaire here before midnight on 3 March 2019. Alternatively you can attend one of our five station design engagement events where you can fill in a printed questionnaire form. You can find details of when and where our engagement events are here.

"If you would like to submit a copy of the questionnaire by email or by post, you can find the printable questionnaire here and return it:
By post: FREEPOST HS2 Community Engagement
By email: HS2enquiries@hs2.org.uk
Please return the questionnaire by midnight on 3 March 2019.

"If you have any questions or comments please contact HS2enquiries@hs2.org.uk or call 08081 434 434 and refer to 'HS2 in Old Oak'."


HS2 Ltd: "Willesden’s landmark yellow cranes make way for new HS2 Rail Logistics Hub" (that's enough excitement for one day)

Link to web site

"Three huge disused yellow container cranes at Willesden, west London have been removed to make way for a major new HS2 Rail Logistics Hub to support the construction of the new high-speed line's London tunnels.

"The 22-metre high cranes, weighing up to 290 tonnes, have stood above the track next to the busy west coast mainline for almost 30 years. Each one had to be lifted up and moved 100 metres to the side, so they could be safely dismantled away from passing trains.

"The removal of the three cranes was one of the most complex engineering challenges the project has faced so far, requiring thousands of hours of planning and preparation."


TfL East-West Cycle Superhighway from Paddington to Acton: "Results Updated 22 Feb 2019"

Acton to Wood Lane
"Since the publication of the consultation report in August 2017, and after careful consideration of the consultation responses, we have decided to make some changes to the design of the Wood Lane to Acton scheme.
"A report has now been published that outlines these design changes as well as setting out other key issues we have considered including the response to specific issues raised from the consultation.
"Construction work on the route is set to begin on 18 March 2019, with the work expected to be complete by the end of the year.  We will notify everyone who may be impacted by these works before we start construction."

OPDC Local Plan: Examination in Public

"An examination will be held to consider the soundness of the OPDC Local Plan. 

"The Secretary of State has appointed an independent Inspector, Mr Paul Clark MA MRTPI MCMI to conduct the Examination.

Programme Officer Role

"I have been appointed as the independent Programme Officer working under the Inspector’s direction. 

"The Programme Officer is responsible for managing the day to day arrangements of the examination process before and during the period of the examination, recording all documents submitted, arranging for the inspection of sites by the Inspector and dealing with correspondence on his behalf to those have made representations, including requests for and exchange of all statements.

"This will include any communication or correspondence between the Inspector and the Corporation.

"For more guidance on the examination procedure and my role, The Planning Inspectorate has produced a booklet ‘Examining Local Plans Procedural Practice’. A copy of this document is available for viewing or downloads on the Planning Inspectorate' s Planning Portal web site:

Hearing Dates and next steps

"The examination hearings will commence at 
10am on Tuesday 2nd April 2019 
London Council's, 59½ Southwark St, London SE1 0AL
"The Inspector has published Draft Matters, Issues and Questions (ID-04) plus an Advice Note (ID-05) for participating in the hearings including the procedure for submitting written hearing statements.  I have also published a draft hearing programme (ID-07), with details of what matter will be heard on which days. 

"It is important to note that, as per the Inspectors Advice Note (ID-05), the Programme is subject to change.  

"It would [have been] helpful if people could contact me by 5.30pm Monday 18th February 2019 to advise if they wish to participate as per the Inspectors Advice note (ID-05).  A simple email advising you wish to participate, who you are, who you represent (a representor ID would be helpful) and what your issues are, as per your original representation, in relation to the Inspectors draft Matters, Issues and Questions. 

"There will be a further opportunity to advise specifically where you wish to participate once the programme has been finalised.  At this stage, it is to give the Inspector and idea of how many participants we may have.  All Electronic and Hard Copies of any written Statements need to be received by myself no later than the below for each week:
Week 1 Hearing Statements:
5.30pm Monday 25th February 2019

Week 2 Hearing Statements:
5.30pm Friday 1st March 2019

Week 3 Hearing Statements:
5.30pm Friday 8th March 2019

Examination Updates and Documents

"Please find attached relevant documents:

ID-04- Inspectors draft Matters and Issues

ID-05 Hearing Advice Note

ID-07 Draft Programme

All pertinent updates are published on the examination webpage:
Check here for details of the examination programme and any new documents submitted to the Inspector. 

"A full set of paper examination documents will be made available on request at OPDC Offices, 169 Union Street, London SE1 0LL. If you require any assistance accessing documents relating to the Local Plan, please contact me.

"Email is the preferred method of communication; it's cost-effective, traceable and an accepted method for formal communication. Should you wish to be added to our list for examination updates please contact us at bankssolutionsuk@gmail.com with your preferred email address.

"My usual working hours are between 9am and 5pm but happy to deal with a reasonable level of queries outside of those times, I understand some people may not have the opportunity to contact me during work hours."

Charlotte Glancy
Programme Officer

Venue and Facilities by on Scribd

OPDC Submitted documents

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