What future for Old Oak?

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We are not meeting in August, so our next open meeting will be on Tuesday September 6th 2022.  We hope to start meeting again at the Collective in Old Oak Lane, rather than on Zoom.

 Please email to oonforum@gmail.com to join our mailing/membership list.  You are welcome to join if you live or work in (or near) the area of north-west London for which the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation has been the local planning authority since 2015.  Membership of the Forum is free and open to all. 

Our Forum continues to campaign against the very high-density/high rise development which is being inflicted on North Acton, East Acton, and North Hammersmith. 

Following the decision of the OPDC Board at its meeting on June 22nd 2022 to adopt the final version of the OPDC Local Plan, July and August have proved to be relatively quiet months.   Our most recent ‘news’ item (right hand column) gives more information on the final stages of the adoption process, with links to the letters which we sent to Planning Committee and Board members.

We are following up with OPDC and other bodies the media reports on lack of electrical supply capacity for new developments in Hillingdon, Hounslow and Ealing.  And we will be meeting with OPDC planners at the end of August to learn more about the proposals for a Supplementary Planning Document for the area which the Corporation is now calling ‘Old Oak West’ (formerly titled ‘the Western Lands’).  

Planning Inspector Paul Clark  required 464 ‘major modifications’ to be made to the OPDC Local Plan and its maps, before he accepted that the Draft Plan was lawful and ‘sound’.  His report can be found at this link https://www.london.gov.uk/sites/default/files/opdc_local_plan_inspectors_report_appendices_and_annexes.pdf.   

Adoption of the Local Plan has been five years later than the originally scheduled date of Spring 2017.

Two major planning applications which we have been tracking remain undecided (One Portal Way, North Acton and a proposed development by Pocket Living at Atlas Wharf — see the previous posts in the right hand column).   

OPDC has been re-consulting on some changes made by Imperial College and their development partners to their plans at One Portal Way. Hence it is not too late to submit an objection to the application.  OPDC are legally required to take all representations into account until the date of decision.  See our campaign website at www.imperialfolly.org.uk for more background.   

The image below is what the increasingly notorious ‘North Acton Cluster’ will look like if this development is built, along with other towers that already constructed or have planning consent.

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Objections and/or comments can be emailed to planningapplications@opdc.london.gov.uk.  Please include the reference 21/0181/OUTOPDC and your name and address (which will be redacted before comments appear on the OPDC online planning register).  

Further background to the Forum

Old Oak is a part of west London lying at the heart of the UK’s largest urban regeneration project.  It is the location of the  HS2/Queen Elizabeth Line rail interchange at Old Oak Common station, on which construction started in 2020.  Completion and opening of the station is due some time between 2029 and 2033.

Since April 2015 the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation (OPDC) has been the planning authority for 650 hectares lying within the London Boroughs of Ealing, Brent, and Hammersmith & Fulham.   The OPDC is accountable to an  appointed board, and ultimately to the Mayor of London.

Because of its future connectivity to the national rail system, Old Oak has been earmarked for many years as one of London’s major ‘opportunity areas’.   The rail interchange is seen as a ‘catalyst’ for high density commercial and residential development.

Back in 2015, a target of 24,000 new homes at Old Oak was set in the revised London Plan.  This target stays the same in the 2021 London Plan.   Yet during 2020-2022, London’s patterns of travel and working  changed significantly during the pandemic.

Much of Old Oak has remained as industrial and railway land, bisected by the Grand Union Canal.   In 2015 a group of local residents associations in the area came together as an ‘interim’ neighbourhood forum.  Our original aim was to achieve designation of a 280 hectare Old Oak neighbourhood area, and to prepare a neighbourhood plan which would help to integrate the existing residential settlements within and around the edge of the OPDC boundary.

After many months of discussion with the Corporation and with Hammersmith & Fulham Council, both these planning authorities rejected the boundary we had proposed (shown in blue on the map below).  In September 2017, the OPDC designated a much reduced 22 hectare are in East Acton (see green boundary below).  Hammersmith and Fulham Council designated a separate (but nearby) boundary as the old Oak Estate neighbourhood area (see brown boundary below).

Details of the reasons for these decisions, as published by each authority, can be found here and here.  Following a further designation application, the Old Oak Neighbourhood Forum was designated in February 2018.  This body has the legal powers to prepare a neighbourhood plan for the 22 hectare area that includes the Wesley Estate, the Island site (TITRA railway cottages), Midland Terrace/Shaftesbury Gardens and Wells House Road.

Area designated by OPDC has green boundary. Old Oak Estate designated by LBHF has brown boundary. Original OONF proposed area in blue.

No organisation has yet come forward to apply for designation as an Old Oak Estate Neighbourhood Forum, in Hammersmith & Fulham.  This area remains one of two ‘orphan’ neighbourhood areas in the Borough.

The Forum held its inaugural meeting in May 2018.  Its membership is open  to ‘full members’ (i.e. those who live or work within the 22 hectare boundary) and to ‘affiliate members’ (those who live or work in the wider area).

Please get in touch by emailing oonforum@gmail.com if you wish to join the Forum as a full member or an ‘affiliated member.’  There is no membership fee to join.

Other pages on this website give more details of who we are and the story so far.  These include a second draft of our neighbourhood plan (2020 version).