On 18th November the committee of Harlesden Neighbourhood Forum met Peter Farnham, Principal Planner for the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation (OPDC). We’d asked for the meeting in light of a further round of consultation on the OPDC’s Draft Plan and some of the changes to the plan.
We were able to present HNF’s position, and will be following this up with a written response.
OPDC submitted their earlier Draft Plan to the Planning Inspectorate in late 2018. Based on feedback from that review and other changes, especially Cargiant opting to remain where they are, a number of changes have been made to the draft plan.
The changes are set out in detail at this slide pack, but key ones include:
Old Oak North (Cargiant and the immediate area) being retained as Strategic Industrial Location (SIL, in planning jargon)
This has implications for, among other things, the amount of housing that could be accommodated based on existing allocations. To meet overall targets set by the London Plan, the retention of Old Oak North as SIL will be offset by land previously designated as SIL elsewhere in the OPDC area be de-designated
This de-designated land, along with ‘windfall’ sites, will enable OPDC to meet their target for new homes. The main area for these new homes will off Old Oak Lane on Channel Gate and Atlas Roads, land being used by HS2 for the next 5-10 years
Other changes include revised (and less ambitious) plans for routes across and out of the development area, although there still will be some new routes, and there are plans for upgrades to existing routes. These include a suggested potential short new road that will take traffic away from the Old Oak Lane railway cottages conservation area
The new ‘major town centre’ will move westwards, and will be located in the vicinity of the well-known Collective – this will include shopping and community facilities rather than a shopping centre
Forum members along with other Harlesden residents and businesses will know that a longstanding concern of the Forum has been to ensure that Harlesden is helped, not harmed through the massive regeneration and economic activity on our doorstep. OPDC's Local Plan acknowledges the importance of the continuing vitality of Harlesden town centre and contains policies intended to support this. Ideally, we need a development, and in particular a town centre, that is complementary to Harlesden, has good connections to it, and is backed by investment in Harlesden itself – something we know the council, backed by GLA funding, is already taking in hand.
OPDC is currently engaging with the community on its revised draft plan and will be accepting feedback until 18th December 2020. Formal consultation is planned to take place in spring/summer 2021. You can find out more information from OPDC, provide feedback and attend their online engagement events planned for 24 and 30 November on OPDC’s website.