What future for Old Oak?

Logo as GIF 2

 

 

 

Our next meeting (open to all OONF and GUA members) will be at 6.30pm on Tuesday October 5th 2021.  If we can sort out the the technology this will be a live meeting at the Collective building in Wood Lane,  also available to those who want to take part on Zoom.

Email oonforum@gmail.com to join the Forum.  You can be a full member if you  live or work within the designated Old Oak neighbourhood area, or an ‘associate member’ from the wider area with an interest in OPDC and HS2 plans for Old Oak.

By the time of our next meeting, we will be well into the six week public consultation being carried out by OPDC on our proposal to extend the boundary of the Old Oak neighbourhood area to include the two major sites at Channel Gate and Atlas Road in East Acton.

We have proposed this extended area so that we can include these key development sites in our Draft Neighbourhood Plan.  Both sites are in use by HS2 until the mid 2020s, as construction compounds.  The OPDC Draft Local Plan proposes very high density/high rise housing as their subsequent long term use.   We think that this would not be a good outcome for this part of East Acton.

We have said to OPDC that there should be a ‘Plan B’ for these sites, drawn up as part of our draft  neighbourhood plan.   At this time, there can be no certainty that OPDC’s ‘Plan A’ (a much modified Draft Local Plan) will reach the stage of adoption at the conclusion of its Examination in Public.

OPDC Infrastructure Delivery

 

Slide10

OPDC proposals for ‘part of a major town centre’ and 3,100 new homes at Channel Gate/Atlas Road

Further background

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.

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, London’s patterns of travel and working  changed out of all recognition during the pandemic.  Demand for office space in central London has slumped.  No one yet knows how far it will be ‘back to normal’ in 2021 but many believe that aspects of global city life have changed for good.

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).