LONDON’S LATEST CITY LAUNCHES
These striking images show a new city emerging in north-west London with 25,500 homes and 65,000 jobs. Lee Mallett reveals how it will happen
LONDON is living through a prolonged era of growth — a modern “Victorian age” of remarkable expansion. The next demonstration of confidence and muscle will be the regeneration of Old Oak Common and Park Royal in north-west London — provided a political consensus and the will to deliver is maintained.
Today we reveal the first images of London’s newest neighbourhood, where 1,600 acres will be transformed — a regeneration hotspot equalled only by the Royal Docks and Beckton Riverside in the east of the capital. Old Oak will be a major new place for Londoners to live and work, with 25,500 new homes and 65,000 new jobs over four decades.
TRANSPORT IS THE KEY
Like the late 1800s, which saw London’s main railway termini developed in a ring around the capital’s centre, Old Oak in the 21st century will renew connections with the Midlands and the North, but from a station located further out that will drive new development in northwest London and suggests a larger dimension for the city — as Victorian stations did, and as Heathrow did in the post-war era.
The development potential of giant industrial sheds, swarms of low-rise industrial buildings, rail marshalling yards, a tangle of Tube, local and national rail lines, threaded through by the Grand Union Canal, a remnant of a previous era of growth, will all be unlocked by the arrival of Crossrail — the Elizabeth line — and High Speed Two (HS2). An estimated £26 billion-worth of development is focused around a new interchange, larger than Waterloo, where the Elizabeth line and HS2 will meet in 2026.
Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation — the OPDC — the mayoral body in charge of the area, claims the level of development will contribute “£7.6 billion annually to the UK economy”. New chairman of the OPDC, Liz Peace, says: “Londoners should be thinking creatively about what Old Oak and Park Royal have to offer. The opportunities will be amazing when you think Liz Peace chairs the development corporation
about the advantages and connections the new transport infrastructure will bring to the area. It is an enormous project, but I’m going to be focusing on some of the smaller things so we make early progress and a difference in the next two or three years to bring new homes and jobs. That’s the way we will make a difference, which London Mayor Sadiq Khan is very interested in.”
FIRST NEW HOMES
The first new housing projects will be around the HS2/Crossrail terminal to the eastern end of the area and immediately north of Wormwood Scrubs.
The Mayor stamped his involvement on future development by persuading Queens Park Rangers Football Club and Genesis Housing Association to increase the number of affordable homes in their Oaklands scheme on the Grand Union Canal. The Greater London Authority
Oaklands, above, the first new homes at Old Oak, will be for affordable rent and shared ownership
increased its grant to the 605-home development so that 40 per cent of the homes, up to 242 from 200, will be “affordable”. Oaklands, the first major scheme off the blocks in Old Oak, will include a mix of social and affordable rent and shared- ownership homes. Residents will move in from 2019. Office and commercial space is included for small and local businesses.
The football club is still looking for a new ground so it can relocate from Loftus Road, but seems to have dropped plans to acquire land from local busi- ness and major landowner Car Giant, which plans a major mixed-use redevelopment scheme on its own 46 acres in the north-east corner of the OPDC area. Old Oak Park, a joint proposal between Car Giant and developer London & Regional, envisages 6,500 new homes and commercial space for 8,000 jobs. An outline planning application will be made once a proposal to build a new viaduct over the rail tracks to the north of the site, creating a link to Willesden Junction station, has been agreed.
HUGE NEW RAIL HUB
The core of Old Oak, the new HS2, Crossrail and Great Western Main Line interchange station is due to open in
With Crossrail, HS2 and new Overground stations, 60,000 people will live at Old Oak — today there are just 4,000
narrowboats pass derelict industrial units on the banks of the Grand Union Canal while nearby, Old Oak’s first new homes are under way at Oaklands
Change is coming: