Please support local involvement in OPDC plans

Logo as GIF 2From May 3rd to June 16th 2017, a public consultation is taking place on our proposals for an neighbourhood forum and neighbourhood plan for Old Oak.

The webpage of the OPDC is at http://www.london.gov.uk/OldOakNF.   There you can find more information and a dedicated email address to which you can respond the consultation.  We need as many supportive responses as possible, to show that residents and businesses in and around Old Oak want the chance to influence new development and the final stages of the OPDC Local Plan.

If you agree that local people should have the opportunity to prepare a neighbourhood plan, please say that you support the idea of a neighbourhood forum.  Please also comment on whether you think the proposed boundary makes sense, or should be extended or shrunk at any particular location.

Old Oak is a part of west London about to be transformed.  It is the proposed location for the HS2/Crossrail interchange at Old Oak Common.  Until now, much of the area has been in railway and industrial use, and lies undeveloped.

The Old Oak Interim Neighbourhood Forum has been meeting over the past year.  We are a group of local residents who care about the area.  We are independent of the four planning authorities, HS2, and the various developers preparing masterplans and proposals for Old Oak.   We want to use the powers available to local people to prepare a neighbourhood plan for Old Oak.

If you either live or work in the proposed neighbourhood area (see the map below) you are entitled to become a forum member.  If you are on the electoral register you will have a vote in the local referendum on the final neighbourhood plan.

Blue line shows proposed boundary of Old Oak neighbourhood area
Blue line shows proposed boundary of Old Oak neighbourhood area

Most planning decisions for the Old Oak area are no longer taken by the London Boroughs of Ealing and of Hammersmith & Fulham.  Since April 2015, the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation (OPDC) has taken on planning powers.   This body is overseen by Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London.

The new chair of the OPDC Board (from March 2017) is Liz Peace CBE.  The Board includes the Leaders of the Boroughs of Brent, Ealing and Hammersmith & Fulham.

Current plans for a future Old Oak involve 24,000 new homes being built in the next couple of decades.  In Old Oak and neighbouring Park Royal, 55,000 new jobs are due to be created.

This area of ‘regeneration’ is the largest in the UK.  It follows from new development at the Olympic Park in east London and at Kings Cross.

The public sector already own over 70% of land in Old Oak, and it has been agreed in principle to transfer this land from central Government to the OPDC over the coming years.

The OPDC is part way through preparing a new Local Plan for Old Oak and Park Royal.  A first round of public consultation took place in early 2016.  A second round will start after the General Election on June 8th.

A six week public consultation on ‘designation’ of an Old Oak neighbourhood area and forum will lead to decisions by the OPDC and Hammersmith & Fulham Council.  These bodies have discretion to say ‘no’ to the proposed forum, and to vary the proposed neighbourhood area, if they consider that they have sound reasons to do so.

We have spent the past year seeking to convince both bodies that our proposals will help to create a successful new part of London, with a Local Plan that has the support of the community rather than being imposed from above.

 

Neighbourhood forums are granted powers under the 2011 Localism Act to prepare a neighbourhood plan for their area.   When completed, these plans are voted on at a local referendum.  If supported by a majority of those voting, the policies in a neighbourhood plan become part of the statutory development plan for the area.  Future planning decisions then have to be in accordance with these policies.

The interim forum has worked hard to build relationships with the OPDC, and with the major developers who are already making big decisions about the long-term future of this part of London.   But this does not mean that we agree with every policy in the emerging Local Plan.

We want the existing communities at Old Oak to be integrated successfully in what will be a whole new part of London.  We want the best examples of successful urban living across Europe to be followed.  We want lessons to be learned from past unsuccessful regeneration projects in the UK.

There is no membership fee to join the forum.  If you are interested but live or work outside the proposed boundary, you can still join although you will not have a vote at the eventual referendum.  To join, please get in touch at oonforum@gmail.com (and give us your street address and postcode.  Your house or flat number is not needed).

Other pages on this website give more details of who we are, and the story so far.