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Old Oak Common scheme is ‘dependent on politicians nailing HS2’

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The Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation (OPDC) has said the £1 billion Old Oak Common development is ‘completely dependent on politicians nailing HS2’

The proposed transformation of the former railway and industrial area in west London into a new neighbourhood with 25,500 new homes centres around a giant rail interchange designed by WilkinsonEyre and engineer WSP.

This huge ‘super hub’ will include subterranean platforms for High Speed 2 (HS2) services to Birmingham and beyond, and will link with a proposed station for the Crossrail (Elizabeth Line) route, which runs east from the site into central London and west towards Heathrow Airport.

At a London Assembly meeting, OPDC chair Liz Peace said: ‘If, for any reason, HS2 was cancelled, the GLA and the Transport for London (TfL) would presumably have to take a view on whether they want a Crossrail station at the development.

’The whole premise of the OPDC development is based around the interchange between HS2 and Crossrail. If there is neither station, then the rationale of the OPDC does somewhat change, and we might look differently at the phasing of any development at that area.’

The OPDC interim chief executive David Lunts said that waiting for the formal parliamentary notice to proceed with HS2 could also hinder the development.

‘Our plans are contingent on the idea of the station opening in 2026, and if that were to move that would inevitably impact our programme.’

In 2017 a team led by AECOM with Asif Khan, BIG, Maccreanor Lavington and WilkinsonEyre won a contest tendered by Transport for London on behalf of the OPDC to masterplan the site.

The consortium, which also includes Weston Williamson + Partners, GVA, Fluid, PBA, Peter Brett and Expedition, Spacehub and East, saw off six other heavyweight teams to land the lead design role.

In March this year, the OPDC was awarded £250 million by the Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF). The money will be used to assemble land, and design and build vital roads and utilities infrastructure at the west London site, but needs to be spent by March 2023.

The corporation said the total infrastructure cost would be around £1 billion over the project’s development span, excluding HS2 infrastructure investment.

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