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Farrell: Old Oak Common 'worst cock-up in years'

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Terry Farrell has lashed out at the London Mayor for squandering a chance to create 12,000 extra homes in major new transport super hub, branding the scheme the ‘worst cock-up in years’

His comments comes in an interview in the London’s Evening Standard, in which he calls the £10billion Old Oak Common project a victim of in-fighting among politicians.

‘If a tenth of the energy he put into the Boris island airport idea had gone into Old Oak Common I feel sure it would have happened without a problem,’ he told the paper.

The 40 hectare Old Oak Common in west London currently houses scores of railway lines, sidings and depots south of the Grand Union Canal as well as industrial estates.

Farrell’s attack follows five years of lobbying for changes to the development, including space for pilings to support decking for 12,000 homes to the south of the site.

Current plans include 25,000 homes, alongside space for offices and retailers.

‘We’ve been trying to influence and lobby for five years,’ Farrell told the paper. “But everyone had just talked and talked, it’s just been pass the parcel,’ he added. ‘This is probably the biggest cock-up that I’ve seen in my career of 50 years in London.’

Last year the mayor set up the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation (OPDC), chaired by deputy mayor Eddie Lister, to manage the project.

A spokesman for Johnson said: ’The mayor, OPDC, Transport for London and the government are working together to ensure the full regeneration potential of this site is unlocked.’

’Over time, this site can provide 65,000 new jobs and 25,500 badly needed homes. This development will be brought forward, but needs to be delivered in a way that does not delay or disrupt Crossrail, which is critical to meeting London’s transport challenge.’

The idea of a ‘super hub’ at Old Oak Common to join up HS2 with Crossrail, the London Overground and the West Coast Main Line was originally devised by Farrell in 2011 (see AJ 15.08.11) after his practice was commissioned by Hammersmith and Fulham Council to create a vision for the area.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • Mr Farrell must surely know - in the back of his mind - that whatever's best for London has to satisfy the 'what's best for Boris?' test.
    Hence Mr Johnson's record of overruling planning authorities who don't show proper respect for developers' interests..

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