Tuesday, 8 July 2014
Old Oak Common and Brent
I read a interesting letter which I am reproducing below especially for Brent to take careful note of it. "Mayor Boris Johnson wants to take away parts of Ealing, Brent and Hammersmith boroughs, for a ‘Development Corporation’ like the one in Docklands in the 1980s. Public consultation lasts until 24 September. This plan, for the whole of the Old Oak Common and Park Royal area, is terrible. Instead of us having 180 or so councillors for the area, there will be Boris functionaries, and just three councillors, one from each borough. The development around the HS2 station at Old Oak Common needs to favour local people, not huge development companies that are really a wing of the discredited financial services industry. There can be a masterplan, but we need ambitious environmental standards controlled by our local boroughs, and lots of individual planning applications, not the shambles of a single one applying over several square miles, like at Brent Cross. I have found that smaller but ambitious developers not only want to make money, but also want to build and innovate. Large older companies are just run by successful salesmen (and a very few women). They may have risen to the top, but they are mostly talentless drones. Keeping control of Park Royal by the boroughs is the only chance we have for democratic control of the area for the next 20 years, and avoiding a soulless copy of Canary Wharf here in west London. Finally, we all need to benefit from a network of London Overground and trams that could radiate out from Old Oak. We need a small incursion into Wormwood Scrubs for a railway that then enters Ealing, Brent and Barnet, as the start of a new orbital route around west and north outer London. It could also take over the Central Line stub down to Ealing Broadway, to make that more useful after Crossrail opens."