- 2639 individual responses by email and letter (over 2000 from QPR fans)
- 1200 comments at workshops and drop-in sessions
- 28000 web views from 6000 visitors, generating 200 comments
See borough responses: 1) Hammersmith & Fulham 2) Ealing 3) Brent


The London Society / All-Party Parliamentary Group for London’s Planning and Built Environment: Orbital railways for west London

"West London would be an excellent location to explore opportunities for Swift Rail and Rapid Transit. It is noticeably underserved with orbital lines and, whilst there is support for Crossrail 2, the proposed radial line is so expensive that it will probably never be commissioned and alternative routes will need to be investigated.

"West London Business has previously explored the idea of a West London Orbital Railway. In 2001, Symonds (now part of Capita) were asked to conduct research and identify a way to greatly improve the orbital public transport system.

"This work has not progressed but most recently assumed short driverless trains, similar to those on the Docklands Light Railway, running [totally in tunnel] between Brent Cross and Surbiton via Wembley, Ealing Broadway and Richmond. We wholeheartedly encourage West London Business to re-test the viability of this idea, for delivery in either the short-term or with a view to complementing Crossrail 2.

"Now is precisely the moment to open discussions about infrastructure in west London. In June 2016 the West London Economic Prosperity Board agreed the Vision for Growth Action Plan, which included a focus on identifying a small number of shared priorities relating to transport infrastructure.

"Possible shared sub-regional high-priority schemes, derived from Local Plans and Local Authority discussions, included an Orbital passenger rail service connecting regeneration schemes; linking Old Oak Common, Brent Cross and Brentford via Wembley along the current “Dudding Hill” freight line which would be activated as a passenger line.

"As has been demonstrated by the success of London’s orbital Overground system, suburban areas require connections at the supra-local level which enhance sub-regional connectivity as opposed to those which focus on central London. New radial connections don’t only create opportunities to get people to leave their cars behind and walk, bike or take public transport, but would relieve overcrowding on the M25 and North Circular road.

T"o live and work locally, within West London, would undoubtedly bring both environmental and social benefits. A Swift Rail service would bridge the gap which currently exists between the London Underground services and future Crossrail in scale and speed, providing a service at the sub-regional level. It is undoubtedly an approach which could be pioneered in locations such as west London.

"The Borough of Hillingdon has historically pressed for extending the Central Line to Uxbridge. There are, however, even better possibilities which could be achieved through a new Swift Rail link, ideally creating a new orbital service which is able to run from the centre of London towards Heathrow before providing a north-south orbital connection.

"The first of these routes could lie along the currently disused railway lines that previously ran from Uxbridge to the Great Western Railway near Hayes. There is also a section which runs from West Drayton and Yiewsley through to Staines in the south via Colnbrook and Yeoveney, with the possibility of being connected to Heathrow Airport.

"In addition to this it might also be possible with some ‘street-running’ to create a West London Orbital line to the north where it could be connected to the Chiltern Services line from Aylesbury to Marylebone by running via Brunel University. Together these connections would have the potential to transform the accessibility of West London, both at the local and regional level."


Tuesday 1 Nov, 1.30pm: "Future Park Royal"

November 1, 2016 – Abbey Manor Conference Centre

Register now

"Park Royal has a unique opportunity on the horizon with the  advent of the HS2/Crossrail interchange at Old Oak. Not only that but the arrival of the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation (OPDC), puts Europe’s largest industrial park at the centre of the UK’s biggest regeneration project.

"This brings with it the chance  to transform the physical and business environment tangibly, whilst generating thousands more jobs in the process.  The intended intensification on Park Royal aspires to add 10,000 new jobs to the tens of thousands already there.

"OPDC exists both to grow and to protect the business environment. It aims to strengthen Park Royal, and is drafting visions, plans and policies that aim to do just that for the area.

"We’d like to invite you to an event that gives you the  opportunity to take part in the formation of those plans in a significant and meaningful way.

"The event is free to attend for qualifying companies."

Issues Exchange and more

At the event, we’ll host an ‘issues wall’, which is an actively moderated space where delegates can post any issues and thoughts, and then other delegates can react by adding notes, discussions, comments and other contributions. Over the course of the afternoon the wall will build in to a live ‘heat map’ of the important issues and generate a depth and breadth of understanding around the issues raised.

Questions we’ll be asking on the day include: What should OPDC be doing? Have OPDC identified the key interventions? How can we build a great community?

There will also be a chance to view a gallery of plans and ideas, and the Old Oak and Park Royal model, and a small exhibition featuring stands from local colleges and councils

1.30pm Registration, refreshments, and networkingIssues Exchange: What should OPDC be doing?

2pm Welcome from the chair

2.05pm Vision: Old Oak & Park Royal – Victoria Hills, CEO, OPDC
An overview of the whole of the OPDC planning area and vision, with insight in to the changes Park Royal can expect to see in roads, buildings, utilities, and more, and a look at the possible construction programme.

2.30pm Park Royal: Making The Difference  – Lauren Laviniere Senior Planning Officer for Park Royal, OPDC
  • We have the opportunity to make the new Park Royal an example of what can be achieved in flexible, programmed regeneration, such that it delivers a place fit for work, life, and leisure for many decades to come.
  • How can we programme for the Smart Technologies that will be common in 20, 30 and 50 years? How can we build a place with health and wellbeing embedded? How can we be sure we are learing the best lessons from around the World?
  • How can we design Future Park Royal so that it is an example of how to deliver urban regeneration now and in the future?
2.55pm Planning Park Royal – Stephie Joslin (OPDC Director of Regeneration & Partnerships)
We will take a spin through the current plans for the four key areas.
  • Infrastructure – Peter O’Dowd (OPDC Head of Infrastructure)
  • Transport – Clare Woodcock (OPDC Senior Transport Planner)
  • Skills – Lori Hoinkes (OPDC)
  • Building a strong estate team – Lori Hoinkes (OPDC)
3.30pm Coffee breakIssues Exchange: Have OPDC identified the key interventions?

4.00pm Community: Stronger Together?
We will hear from Park Royal businesses about how together we can build a stronger community on the Estate.

4.30pm Learning from elsewhere
  • Ilker Dervish (Chair of Industrial BIDs) – how industrial estates like Park Royal can and must benefit from regeneration projects. He will encourage Park Royal businesses to form a strong voice and to lobby hard for their interests
  • Garry Phillips, EHWLC – how businesses can leverage programmes from FE Colleges to meet their current and future skills needs.
  • Blackhorse Lane industrial area, plus examples of workspace creation – Pooja Agrawal from the GLA Regeneration team
  • 5pm Thanks from the chair, and close
5.15pm Drinks. Issues Exchange: How can we build a great community?

6pm Close

Event on 19 Oct, plus: Until 28 Oct: 93-97A Scrubs Lane and 115-129A Scrubs Lane: Planning applications

Both applications:
Start date: 30 September 2016
End date: 28 October 2016

'North Kensington Gate North'

OPDC has received a planning application for the redevelopment of 93-97A Scrubs Lane, NW10 6QU, known as 'North Kensington Gate North'. The application is for the demolition of the existing building and the construction of 48 residential units with 165sqm of commercial space on the ground floor. The development is proposed in 2 adjoining buildings of 4 and 11 storeys.

Application reference number:
Site location:
The application site (outlined in red on the map below) is located on the east side of Scrubs Lane (A219) opposite the junction with Hythe Road. The site backs on to St Mary's Cemetery which is to the east.

Description of development:
Demolition of existing buildings and redevelopment of the site to provide a new building ranging from 4 storeys (16.3 metres above ground level) to 11 storeys (39.9 metres above ground level) in height, comprising 165sqm (GIA) of ground floor commercial floorspace (use class A1/A2/A3) and 48 residential units (use class C3), with landscaping and associated works.

'North Kensington Gate South'

OPDC has received a planning application for the redevelopment of 115-129A Scrubs Lane, NW10 6QU, known as ‘North Kensington Gate South’. The application is for the demolition of the existing buildings and the construction of 170 residential units and 600sqm of commercial space.

The development is proposed in 3 adjoining buildings of 6, 8 and 22 storeys. The commercial space would be provided at ground floor level and in a mezzanine floor. A basement would be excavated to provide 32 car parking spaces. A total of 308 cycle parking spaces would be provided across the site.

Application reference number:
Site location:
The application site (outlined in red on the map below) is located on the east side of Scrubs Lane (A219) and to the north of the Mitre Bridge. The site backs on to St Mary’s Cemetery which is to the east.

Description of development:
Demolition of existing buildings and redevelopment of the site to provide a new building ranging from 6 storeys (25.1 metres above ground level) to 22 storeys (79.9 metres above ground level) in height over a new excavated basement, comprising 600sqm (GIA) of ground floor commercial floorspace (use class A1/A2/A3/B1a) and 170 residential units (use class C3), with basement car parking and plant space, landscaping and associated works.

Consultation deadline:
5.00pm on 28 October 2016

Contact details:
Call us on 020 5783 5732 or email

Further information:

The planning application documents can be viewed on the OPDC Planning Register. Please search using the application reference numbers above.

OPDC will be hosting a public presentation event on Wednesday 19 October 2016 at The Co-Club, 140 Wales Farm Road, North Acton, W3 6UG between 6.30pm – 8.00pm.

The event will be chaired by OPDC officers and will include a presentation of the proposals by the Applicant followed by a question and answer session. The presentation is free to attend but spaces will be limited and attendance will be on a first come first served basis.

New HS2 Big Cheese

"HS2 Ltd is pleased to announce that Roy Hill has been appointed Interim CEO and will take up his new position in November.

"Commenting on the appointment, HS2 Ltd Chairman David Higgins said:
"I'm pleased to welcome Roy Hill back to the team.

His understanding of the project and the industry puts him in an excellent position to continue the significant progress made under Simon Kirby while we continue our search for a permanent CEO.

Roy's secondment from CH2M will allow HS2 to benefit from his broad experience overseeing some of the world’s most complex infrastructure projects.

He is uniquely qualified to fill this interim role, seeing HS2 through its upcoming milestones and into the start of construction next year."


"Baby boomers have already taken all the houses, now they're coming for our brunch" (Comment: "Whinge, whinge, moan, moan, 'Oh I'm a victim, I'm a victim, the Guardian will publish me, I'm a victim'")

"Brunch is the opiate of the masses. We are not going out for brunch instead of buying houses: we are brunching because we cannot afford to buy houses"

Link to The Guardian

"... Brunch has become a lifestyle – fetishised as much as the property market (the New York Times calls it the brunch industrial complex). But the price point of entry is much lower than property – you have to take what you can get.

"This is depressing, not because it stops young people from saving for houses, but because time in restaurants or lingering for hours over brunch means less time for the necessary activism or political action against the offensively unequal society we are now living in.

"We’re rolling out of cafes, too jacked up on the third latte, groaning from the pulled pork mascarpone pancake stack, to meaningfully fight the man on income inequality, negative gearing and unaffordable housing. But, boy, we need to."


The Government: "Transport Secretary confirms government commitment to HS2"

"Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has set out the urgent need for a new high speed, high capacity railway line to give Britain the infrastructure it needs.

The Transport Secretary has confirmed that the government is committed to pressing ahead with HS2 to tackle the looming capacity crisis the rail network faces and to help boost jobs and regeneration along the line of the route and across the country. Construction is due to begin on the scheme in the first half of next year.

He has also today (11 October 2016) confirmed plans to make £70 million of government funds available to support local communities and road safety along the route between London and the West Midlands. Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said:
"We need HS2 now more than ever.

We're facing a rapidly approaching crunch-point. In the last 20 years alone, the number of people travelling on our railways has more than doubled and our rail network is the most intensively used of any in Europe.

We need HS2 for the capacity it will bring on the routes between London, the West Midlands, Crewe, Leeds and Manchester as well as the space it’ll create elsewhere on our transport network.

We need it for the boost it will give to our regional and national economies.

And we need it for the jobs it will create, and for the way it will link our country together."
The £70 million is made of 3 separate funds:
  • the HS2 Community and Environment Fund (CEF)
  • the Business and Local Economy Fund (BLEF), which together total £40 million
  • £30 million road safety fund.
The CEF will help enhance community facilities, improve access to the countryside and conserve the natural environment along the HS2 Phase One line of route, while the BLEF will support local economies in areas where businesses may experience disruption from the construction of HS2.

The 2 funds will provide £40 million which is set to be allocated at a regional level:
  • £15 million for the Central area (Staffordshire, Warwickshire and Buckinghamshire)
  • £7.5 million for Greater London
  • £7.5 million for the West Midlands (Birmingham, Solihull and Coventry)
  • £10 million unallocated to allow flexibility to fund cross-border or route wide projects.
  • The allocations were made by Cathy Elliott, the independent chair of the CEF and BLEF funds, following recommendations from the House of Commons HS2 hybrid Bill Select Committee.
Cathy Elliott said:
"Allocation of the funds in this way allows communities to have an indication of the level of funding available while maintaining some flexibility to ensure that the overarching objective of the funds are met.

Allocating the funding on a regional level will allow the funding of larger schemes which are likely to deliver a long lasting legacy."
"Community groups, charities, non-governmental organisations and business support specialists will be able to bid for grants from the CEF and BLEF funds, which are expected to be rolled out when construction starts in 2017 and will be awarded until the end of HS2's first year of operation in 2026. The detailed application guidance for the 2 funds will be published in due course. Following the launch of the funds grant-making rounds are expected to take place every 3 to 6 months.

"A separate £30 million road safety fund will be used to make improvements in places along the line of route – for instance to support traffic calming, safer junctions or better pedestrian crossings. Further details on this fund will be announced in due course.

"A decision on the HS2 Phase Two route to Manchester and Leeds will be taken in the Autumn."


Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation Community Infrastructure Levy Preliminary Draft Charging Schedule consultation (Hurrah!)

Community Infrastructure Levy Consultation

Start date: 03 October 2016
End date: 25 November 2016

What is the Community Infrastructure Levy ?
The Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL)is a levy that local authorities in England and Wales can charge on new developments in their area. The money generated from CIL can be used to pay for a wide range of infrastructure including:
  • transport
  • schools
  • community facilities
  • health and leisure facilities
  • emergency services.
Section 106 agreements will continue to be used in conjunction with CIL, to secure affordable housing and site specific mitigation measures.

Subject to certain exceptions, the OPDC CIL rates will be applicable in the following circumstances: where the net increase in floorspace (gross internal area) of the development is at least 100 sqm, or it involves creating one or more new dwellings, even where this is below 100 sqm where a vacant building is being brought back into use where the proposed use is identified in OPDC's CIL charging schedule as a chargeable use You can find out more by reading the Government’s National Planning Practice Guidance.

The types of infrastructure that may be funded in whole, or in part, by CIL are set out in a document referred to as the Regulation 123 List.

The types of infrastructure the OPDC CIL may be used to fund are set out in the draft OPDC Regulation 123 List and as Appendix 2 of the OPDC Preliminary Draft Charging Schedule. Comments on the draft Regulation 123 list are welcome as part of our consultation, starting from 3rd October 2016 to 25 November 2016.
Preliminary Draft Charging Schedule (PDCS) documents
On 21 September 2016, the OPDC Board agreed that the CIL Preliminary Draft Charging Schedule (PDCS) and background documents (including the Development Infrastructure Funding Study Viability Study and the draft Regulation 123 List) be published for public consultation.

OPDC is inviting comments from interested individuals and organisations on these documents. The consultation period will run for eight weeks from 3 October 2016 to 25 November 2016.

The Preliminary Draft Charging Schedule and supporting documents are:
If you have any questions regarding these documents, or would like to discuss any aspect, please attend one of the consultation events or contact OPDC directly on 020 7983 5542 or email.

If you would like to view the hard copies of the OPDC CIL related documents mentioned above, they are available to view at:
    • Acton Town Hall Library, High Street W3 6NE
    • Brent Civic Centre, Engineers Way, Wembley HA9 0AF
    • City Hall, Queens Walk, London SE1 2AA
    • Ealing Council Offices, Perceval House 14/16 Uxbridge Road W5 2HL
    • Hammersmith Town Hall, King Street W6 9JU
    • Harlesden Library NW10 8SE
    • Old Oak Community Centre, Braybrook Street W12 0AP
    • Shepherd’s Bush Library, 6 Wood Lane W12 7BF
We want to hear from you!
We're keen to involve the community in the development of CIL and are therefore holding a number of consultation events so that you can find out more and share your priorities with us. Three community workshop sessions are being held on:
Responses can be made on our short questionnaire or by direct comment either by email or posted to:
CIL PDCS Consultation
Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation
City Hall
The Queen’s Walk
London SE1 2AA

Comments must be received no later than midnight on 25 November 2016.

Register to attend a CIL consultation


Evening Standard: Light rail at Old Oak Common

The Economist: "Who’s self-driving your car? The battle for driverless cars revs up"

Link to web site

"With its successful test of robo-taxis on the streets of Pittsburgh last week, Uber has dominated recent headlines on autonomous vehicles. But behind the scenes three groups—technology giants such as Uber, carmakers and a whole fleet of autoparts suppliers—are in a tight race. Each is vying to develop the hardware and software that make up the complex guts of a self-driving vehicle.

"... Carmakers are making more of the running after a slow start. Despite recent safety concerns, Tesla, an electric-car maker, is making progress with its Autopilot system. In 2017 Volvo, which is also working with Uber to get cars to drive themselves, will test self-driving cars by handing them for the first time to a select group of ordinary motorists. And in August, Ford said it would launch a fully-autonomous car, without steering wheel or pedals, for car-sharing schemes by 2021."


The Guardian: "Gentrification is a global problem. It's time we found a better solution"

Link to web site

"First come the artists, then the cranes. As the kamikaze pilots of urban renewal, wherever the creatives go, developers will follow, rents will rise, the artists will move on, and the pre-existing community will be kicked out with them.

"Such is the accepted narrative of gentrification, a term first coined more than 50 years ago by the German-born British sociologist Ruth Glass to describe changes she observed in north London – but it is a phenomenon that has been at the heart of how cities evolve for centuries.

"Gentrification is a slippery and divisive word, vilified by many for the displacement of the poor, the influx of speculative investors, the proliferation of chain stores, the destruction of neighbourhood authenticity; praised by others for the improvement in school standards and public safety, the fall in crime rates, and the arrival of bike lanes, street markets and better parks."


The Observer: "How driverless cars could change our whole future"

"Vast areas of land are covered in parked cars. When self-driving vehicles become commonplace, we might devote that dead space to something useful instead"

Link to web site

"John Zimmer thinks that fleets of self-driving cars will be commonplace in the relatively near future and that their availability will give us most of the advantages of private car ownership without the financial and environmental drawbacks. Although some people will always want the status and other satisfactions of owning a car, what most people want is affordable mobility without having to purchase, tax, insure, park and fuel a four-wheeled millstone.

"In the well-planned cities of continental Europe, that kind of mobility is provided by efficient and affordable public transport. But in more benighted places (like most British towns and cities), autonomous vehicles are an obvious alternative.

"... Mr Zimmer has a dog in this fight – he's co-founder of Lyft, a ride-sharing outfit that competes with Uber, so the usual caveats apply. Nevertheless, his essay is a thoughtful reflection on how the automobile transformed – and destroyed – our cities and towns."


Financial Times: "High rise projects struggle to win affection of UK public"

"The economic imperative to build housing higher in the capital divides opinion"

Link to web site

"Building upwards has been regarded as the answer to the UK's housing problems before, yet the high-rise estates of the 1950s and 1960s quickly turned into symbols of poor planning, inequality and urban blight. But even as Britain grapples with the legacy of those experiments, high-rise living is back in vogue — this time marketed towards a very different demographic.

"Once again, however, it is attracting criticism. Glass-encased towers are only for the rich, say their opponents; they largely lie empty — walk past them at night and they are mostly dark — because they are viewed as investments rather than places to live; and they clash with their surroundings and cast them in shadow. All this, critics declare, fails to deal with the needs of Londoners who do not enjoy large pay packets, drives up prices and forces people further out of the centre.

"Yet the boom continues, with scores more high-rise buildings planned. Is this merely greed, with developers thinking only of rich, and often foreign, buyers, or can high-rise living be part of the solution to the capital's housing crisis?"


Financial Times: "Alstom claims tilting train can solve HS2’s speed conundrum"

Link to web site

"The builder of France’s TGV trains is hoping to persuade officials planning the UK’s high-speed HS2 line that it can resolve one of their biggest conundrums: that on some of the lines new trains may run more slowly than existing rolling stock.

"Alstom, one of the world’s biggest train makers, has been telling engineers it could offer a train capable of running very fast on the dedicated high-speed line that could also tilt on corners on existing routes.

"Without tilting capability any new train would likely be slower over some sections of the existing network, such as the route from Preston to Glasgow, where Alstom’s tilting Pendolinos currently operate. However, HS2's planners have long doubted that a train would be able to fulfil both functions.

"The discussions have been taking place at a time when HS2, a government-owned company, is considering a change to its rolling-stock strategy. It had looked set to place an initial order for trains capable of running only on the new high-speed line and for another group designed to run on both the new line and on the UK’s existing “classic” network.

"It now looks set to order only trains compatible with the existing network at first, before ordering high-speed-only trains when more of the high-speed network is open. Transport ministers will decide shortly which strategy to pursue."


The Guardian: "A world without work is coming – it could be utopia or it could be hell"

Link to web site

"Most of us have wondered what we might do if we didn’t need to work – if we woke up one morning to discover we had won the lottery, say. We entertain ourselves with visions of multiple homes, trips around the world or the players we would sign after buying Arsenal. For many of us, the most tantalising aspect of such visions is the freedom it would bring: to do what one wants, when one wants and how one wants.

"But imagine how that vision might change if such freedom were extended to everyone. Some day, probably not in our lifetimes but perhaps not long after, machines will be able to do most of the tasks that people can. At that point, a truly workless world should be possible. If everyone, not just the rich, had robots at their beck and call, then such powerful technology would free them from the need to submit to the realities of the market to put food on the table.

"Of course, we then have to figure out what to do not only with ourselves but with one another. Just as a lottery cheque does not free the winner from the shackles of the human condition, all-purpose machine intelligence will not magically allow us all to get along. And what is especially tricky about a world without work is that we must begin building the social institutions to survive it long before the technological obsolescence of human workers actually arrives."


PR people work Sundays: "HS2 Chairman, David Higgins' statement regarding HS2 CEO, Simon Kirby, leaving to join Rolls Royce"

"Chief Operating Officer, the chairman of HS2, David Higgins, said:
"I am delighted for both Simon and Rolls Royce that he has been appointed to this position. Whilst naturally we will miss his experience and leadership, I also recognise that he is joining a truly great, global company in an industry in which he has previously worked.

In his two and half years with the company, Simon has used his vast experience to recruit and shape a world class team which over the coming years and decades will turn HS2 into a reality that will be of lasting benefit to this country.
That team will continue that process as we start and complete the process of finding Simon's successor.

I am also delighted to be able to announce today the appointment of Mel Ewel, formerly Chief Executive of Amey, as a Non Executive Director. His great experience in the construction industry speaks for itself, as does the huge respect in which he is held. As such he will be a great asset to the Board's deliberations as we move to the point of construction.
Simon Kirby said:
"HS2 is not just a highly ambitious project, but also one which will leave a lasting legacy for Britain. It has been, therefore, a huge honour to have been its Chief Executive and to have been involved in creating a leadership team made up of the best talents from this country and elsewhere. I have absolute confidence in their ability to deliver the project and, in doing so, to help transform the way we do things in this country."


The Guardian: "Paris divided: two-mile highway by Seine goes car-free for six months"

Link to web site

"... The drone from traffic on the parallel Quai des Celestins, higher up the river bank, suggests traffic there is moving along at a respectable pace – confounding those doomsayers who suggested the controversial scheme to pedestrianise two miles of city centre highway would bring neighbouring roads to a standstill.

"While this section of the Seine closes every summer to host the Paris Plages – in which temporary artificial beaches are created along the right bank of the river – this time the expressway has not been reopened.

"Instead Paris's prefect of police – the state representative – this week approved the closure of the riverside route for a six-month trial. Socialist-run city hall says it intends to keep the highway closed to vehicles for good."


Construction Enquirer: "Galliford Try kicks-off London regen zone with £175m project"

"Galliford Try is understood to have secured the first major scheme at London’s vast Old Oak Common regeneration zone."

Link to web site

"Development partners Genesis Housing Association and Queens Park Rangers Football Club plan to build 605 new homes on part of the vast new regeneration site in a development to be known as Oaklands.

"London's Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation approved the £175m mixed-use scheme last month.

"Galliford Try's Partnership arm is expected to start work at the beginning of 2017. Several existing buildings will be demolished to make way for three major blocks rising in height from around 10 to 26 floors."


Evening Standard: "White City: how Soho House, the BBC and the London creatives are helping W12 get its mojo back"

"Westfield is expanding, the BBC building is being transformed, and Soho House is moving in — W12 is staking its claim as London’s latest hotspot. Nick Curtis on why the future looks best out west"

Link to web site

"From the top of BBC TV Centre's East Tower in White City — the building where Blue Peter and Play School were made — you can see the future of London. The buildings below, once a monocultural fortress for Auntie Beeb, will soon become a mini-metropolis of 950 apartments, a new club and 50-room hotel from Soho House (complete with rooftop pool), as well as three refurbished TV studios and offices for BBC Worldwide and 300,000 [sic] other 'creatives'.

Further north are the modern offices of BBC Digital, and beyond them Old Oak Common, itself set to become a mini-city once Crossrail arrives. The world's largest 'co-living' space, The Collective, opened there in May, offering 551 minimal, serviced living spaces around shared communal areas as an alternative to traditional rental models.

On the other side of Wood Lane, the mind-bogglingly vast, 25-acre, £3 billion new campus where Imperial College plans to 'invent the future through science and engineering and medicine' — as Professor David Gann, Vice President (Innovation) puts it — stretches north beyond the A40. To the east, the new phase of Westfield shopping centre — already one of the top five tourist destinations in London, with 28 million visitors a year — is under construction, and a site occupied by M&S warehouses is to become 1,480 new homes by developer St James."

[That's enough gushing. Ed.]


The Observer: "The death of neoliberalism and the crisis in western politics"

"In the early 1980s the author was one of the first to herald the emerging dominance of neoliberalism in the west. Here he argues that this doctrine is now faltering. But what happens next?"

Link to web site

"The western financial crisis of 2007-8 was the worst since 1931, yet its immediate repercussions were surprisingly modest. The crisis challenged the foundation stones of the long-dominant neoliberal ideology but it seemed to emerge largely unscathed. The banks were bailed out; hardly any bankers on either side of the Atlantic were prosecuted for their crimes; and the price of their behaviour was duly paid by the taxpayer.

"Subsequent economic policy, especially in the Anglo-Saxon world, has relied overwhelmingly on monetary policy, especially quantitative easing. It has failed. The western economy has stagnated and is now approaching its lost decade, with no end in sight.

"After almost nine years, we are finally beginning to reap the political whirlwind of the financial crisis. But how did neoliberalism manage to survive virtually unscathed for so long? Although it failed the test of the real world, bequeathing the worst economic disaster for seven decades, politically and intellectually it remained the only show in town. Parties of the right, centre and left ... all bought into its philosophy."


The Guardian: "A new New York? Manhattan's oldest neighbourhood goes car-free, kind of …"

"Cars restricted to 5mph over 60 blocks of Financial District at weekend, as transport department runs Shared Streets event inspired by Bogotá and Paris"

Link to web site

"A shadow is cast long upon New York by the ghost of Robert Moses, the titan 'master builder' of 20th century whose almost unrivalled power to chart his vision of urban renewal fostered the car-dominant and public transport-starved metropolis that is, for better or worse, one of Gotham’s most enduring legacies.

"But pedestrianism among advocates and urban planners in the new, young century has been on the ascent in global cities far and wide, with many pushing for more restrictions on cars in the interests of bipeds and cyclists.

"That was part of thinking behind the Shared Streets initiative, a five-hour long event over the weekend. It saw the city demarcate some 60 blocks of Manhattan's oldest neighbourhood as part of an urban geographical experiment meant to alter the often-fractious dynamic between motorists and pedestrians that is the unwritten law of the concrete jungle."


Evening Standard: "First look inside Crossrail train ahead of launch"

Link to web site

"These are the first images of a new Elizabeth line train ahead of the launch of the £14 billion Crossrail project next May.

"It is the first in a fleet of 66 air-conditioned trains, which will operate on the Elizabeth line, linking Shenfield in Essex and Abbey Wood in south-east London to Heathrow and Reading, via Canary Wharf and Oxford Street.

"Transport for London commissioner Mike Brown was today driving the train on Bombardier Transportation's test track in Derby. He said the trains, to be introduced in stages, were 'a showcase for British design and manufacture'.

"The new ‘Class 345’ trains will enter service when the first section of the line, which will be known as Crossrail, opens next May between Liverpool Street and Shenfield in Essex. It is believed the final interiors may differ in design to the first look seen today."

Bombardier: Building Crossrail trains in Derby


GetWestLondon: "QPR dealt new ground blow as landowner says: 'We will never agree to a stadium'"

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"Queens Park Rangers has been accused of misleading its fans with inaccurate statements over the future building of a new stadium.

"Cargiant, which owns land that the Championship side want to build its new ground on, has published a letter criticising the actions of the club. It says it wants to put the record straight over the proposals so supporters are aware of the actual situation.

"The decision taken this month to publish a letter, which was written in March to fans by Cargiant managing director Tony Mendes and Geoff Springer from development partner London & Regional Properties (L&R), was taken after QPR was given the go-ahead to build 605 new homes on the nearby Oaklands site with Genesis Housing Trust."


CNN: "London housing crisis extends to the water"

Link to web site

"When it comes to the unwanted title of world's most expensive city for housing, London vies with Monaco and Hong Kong.

"The average house price in the English capital is now nearly £600,000 ($787,000), and a study from the charity Shelter found just 43 properties affordable to people on an average income. Several of these properties were houseboats.

"Life on London's 100-mile network of canals, or 42-mile stretch of the River Thames, has become a popular option for beleaguered citizens, and such homes can cost as little as £20,000 ($26,500). But as more people swap apartments for houseboats, the popular, romantic vision is giving way to a harsh reality."

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