One of the biggest issues to come out of the Place West London Conference this week for me was that of the opportunity at Old Oak Common and more importantly how this could be missed by sheer short sightedness from the government.
Hammersmith & Fulham along with masterplanner Sir Terry Farrell showed off their plans last year for what could become the largest regeneration project the capital has ever seen. However these plans aren't really plans at all, they're just capacity studies. Done in order to show the scope of what is possible for the site. 100,000 jobs and 19,000 homes apparently!
Why now then? Well, it's all down to infrastructure as it so often is. High Speed 2 is scheduled to stop and the council is pushing for a Crossrail station. Below is an image of the plans from HS2 for an interchange with the proposed Crossrail station. Why is a Crossrail interchange needed? Simply because Euston wouldn't be able to cope as the terminus for HS2 and nor would the Victoria line. By providing an interchange passengers are then able to filter out across the tube network.
The HS2 plans however don't allow for over site development. Surely a missed trick in this day and age? Below is Sir Terry Farrell's masterplan for Kowloon Station in Hong Kong, he designed in the 90's. It has double the amount of over-site development than Canary Wharf.
Now I'm not suggesting we need the amount of density in the image above, but let's just imagine for a minute that HS2 does go ahead, as well as a spur for Crossrail when it's realised that Euston can't cope. Nick Botterill from LB H&F states the station will serve double the amount of passengers than Clapham Common and the same as Waterloo, becoming one of the top 5 busiest stations in the UK.
Below is the promo video from Hammersmith & Fulham and Sir Terry Farrell that shows the possibility of the area. The good news from LB H&F and the GLA is that HS2 are now talking to them (albeit reluctantly by the sounds of it) about making over-site development a possibility. Don't get your hopes up just yet though. The conversation is on going and the the government apparently still need to be convinced to pause, so that a wider aspiration can be achieved. As Richard Barnes, Chairman of Place West London pointed out, how is it until only very recently that HS2 are talking to the GLA? What must it be like for anyone else to have any dialogue with them? Absolutely impossible.
And as Daniel Moylan, another speaker from Place West London stated, a third runway at Heathrow will be just a sticking plaster. We need to think 40, 50 years ahead, something we don't do enough of in this country. Over-site development at a Crossrail/HS2 interchange is a no-brainer, (they've done it in Shoreditch!)
To see LB H&F and Sir Terry Farrell's indicative plans follow this link
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Residential Update – August 2012
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Red Book Executive Summary – May 2012
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