The area for which the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation became planning authority in April 2015 is the largest regeneration area in the UK. We seek to bring the added value of neighbourhood planning to the work of the Development Corporation.
The Old Oak Interim Neighbourhood Forum started meeting in July 2016. Prior to this, several of the Forum’s core members had been lobbying HS2 over a period of years, in efforts to mitigate the impact of the decade of construction work that Old Oak will see before the proposed Old Oak Common/Crossrail interchange is completed (due 2026).
One of our related organisations is the Grand Union Alliance. This is a wider geographic network of community groups and residents from Brent, Ealing, Hammersmith & Fulham, and Kensington and Chelsea, which has been meeting since 2014. The Alliance has some expert academic support from University College London, and has submitted responses to a series of OPDC consultation exercises. The work of the Old Oak Interim Neighbourhood Forum is focused on the ‘Old Oak’ half of the OPDC area rather than Park Royal to the west.
At the moment, few west Londoners think of ‘Old Oak’ as a place in its own right. They may know Old Oak Common Lane as a major north-south route between Harlesden and Acton. They may use Wormwood Scrubs as one of London’s larger pieces of Metropolitan Open Land. But as the name for a part of London, ‘Old Oak’ is only beginning to enter wider public consciousness.
The construction of a major rail interchange to the north of Wormwood Scrubs will change this, forever. Those living and working in the area need to understand the reasons behind these changes, and to have the chance to help to shape them. Hence the proposals for a neighbourhood forum and neighbourhood plan.
You can contact the neighbourhood forum at email@example.com either to ask for more information, or to join as a forum member. You can also follow us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/OldOakNeighbourhood/?ref=ts&fref=ts or on Twitter @ForumOon
See our page on designation for the history of our attempts to persuade the OPDC and Hammermsith & Fulham Council that designation of a large ‘Old Oak neighbourhood’ would bring together the 7,000 residents living within and on the borders of the Development Corporation’s boundary. Most of these residential communities date back to the late 19th century. They are physically separated by the rail lines, major roads and the canal which cross the Old Oak area, but all have a common concern in facing a 30 year period over which massive construction work will take place across this part of London.
We had hoped that Development Corporation and Hammersmith & Fulham Council would see the potential of a single neighbourhood forum, as a body with which dialogue and consultation could take place and which covered the whole eastern part of the OPDC area. This did not happen, but the Forum continues to bring together a large number of local residents and businesses who wish to follow closely the progress of the OPDC Draft Local Plan and the overall activities of the Development Corporation.
Based at City Hall and at Union Street in Southwark, the OPDC currently experiences less public scrutiny than at the three councils at Ealing, Hammermith & Fulham and Brent. Our Forum, made up of local people volunteering their time, will do its best to ensure that voices of all those living in this part of inner west London continue to be heard in the coming years.