75: The Mayor of London consults on plans for a new overground station at Old Oak Common and other news
The Mayor of London and Transport for London (TfL) commenced a consultation on 22 September on proposals for a new overground station to be built at Old Oak Common in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham. The HS2 Bill, petitions against which are currently being examined by the House of Commons Select Committee (see below for the latest Committee news), provides for an intermediate station to be provided at Old Oak Common to serve east and west London and to provide an interchange with trains on the Great Western Main Line including Crossrail and the Heathrow Express in 2026.
The Government’s plans do not currently include a connection to the London Overground services that currently pass through the area and both “the Mayor and Transport for London (TfL) consider this is a missed opportunity to integrate HS2 and Crossrail with the local transport network, improving connectivity and supporting further economic growth of the area”.
The consultation seeks views on the principle of creating a new London Overground station at Old Oak and on three options to connect it with the HS2, National Rail and Crossrail station. The consultation states that all three options are feasible, but offer different levels of passenger benefits and local impacts.
There are three options for the station are as follows:
A new London Overground station at Old Oak Common Lane with a railway viaduct to the north of Wormwood Scrubs;
A new London Overground station at Old Oak Common Lane using existing track near Willesden; or
Two separate London Overground stations at Old Oak Common Lane and Hythe Road.
The Mayor is also keen to establish a Mayoral Development Corporation (MDC) to “unlock the enormous regeneration potential of this 950 hectare industrial site at Old Oak and Park Royal in West London”. The MDC would take on various statutory powers in relation to infrastructure, regeneration and land acquisitions including compulsory purchase orders, streets, businesses and financial assistance, preparing local plans (including Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL)) and determining certain planning applications. Although, the MDC would not be responsible for the delivery of Old Oak Common station.
All three local authorities affected by the construction of the new overground station, the London Boroughs of Brent, Ealing and Hammersmith & Fulham are supportive of the proposals as they can see the potential for huge economic benefits in having an additional overground station at this location.
Hammersmith & Fulham in particular, as the host authority,strongly supports the proposals for the new station as the Old Oak area has low employment rates and is close to some deprived areas. The area would be greatly enhanced by the new station, providing employment opportunities and affordable housing and enhancing local services. The council has stated that the new station would act as the “catalyst to drive forward the long term economic development of this relatively deprived area of West London”. The council has compared the station development to Stratford City, Kings Cross and Paddington Basin. As well as saying that the station will be of great benefit to the Old Oak area, the council thinks that the benefits will reach beyond the local area across London and the Greater South East.
Brent supports the construction of the new station and recognises the positive impact it will have on the area in relation to employment levels, for example. However, Brent has expressed some concerns with the proposed MDC and has made some recommendations on the MDC proposals in relation to various issues including the MDC boundary, local representation, planning powers and local benefit (including housing, transport and social infrastructure).
The construction of the new station is also supported by Ealing which has also been involved in detailed discussion regarding the regeneration opportunities which will be offered by the new station and the MDC with the Government, the Mayor of London, TfL and Brent and Hammersmith & Fulham councils.
The consultation for Old Oak Common station closes on 24 November 2014.
HS2 Committee news
The HS2 Committee last sat on the morning of 10 September and whilst it was due to hear a petitioners in the following week, the petitioners did not appear as they were in the midst of discussions with HS2 Ltd. The Committee has issued a revised October programme of sittings for when it re-convenes on 13 October after the party conference season recess.
Location of National College for High Speed Rail is announced
On 30 September the Prime Minister announced that the home of the new College for High Speed Rail will be located in Birmingham and Doncaster.
The headquarters will be based in Birmingham and the college will also have a site in Doncaster. It will provide specialist vocational training to the next generation of engineers working on the HS2 project and beyond. The college will be located in Birmingham’s city centre Science Park and Doncaster’s Lakeside Campus. The governing board will be chaired by Terry Morgan, who is also the chair of Crossrail, and will include representatives from Birmingham and Doncaster, alongside HS2 Ltd and leading industry employers.
9 October 2014