Khan approves 26 storey tower blocks by Old Oak Common

Sadiq_KhanThe Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has approved blocks as high as 26 storeys for the Old Oak Park Royal Development Corporation scheme on the west side of Old Oak Common. A range of 8-11 storeys was promised.

The Hammersmith Society strongly opposed the plan.

The Society’s Chairman Tom Ryland says:

“The scheme is the first major application within the OPDC area to be considered, and it is therefore important as a precedent to all future applications.

“The scheme neither complies with the spirit nor the actual policies of the OPDC Draft Plan nor the OAPF which preceded it, in terms of height, density or design quality. This site is on the fringe of the OPDC area where medium densities and heights (8 – 11 storeys) were promised.

“The scheme is not in compliance with the London Plan in terms of density and height, in that the maximum densities are massively exceeded.

“The towers in the scheme – up to 26 storeys – are not only considerably higher than the masterplan heights, but sit on an area of high ground, and are of particular concern to residents of Shaftesbury Gardens and Midland Terrace which are immediately adjacent and to the west.

“The heights will also impact on Wormword Scrubs, the neighbouring Conservation Areas, and the Grand Union canal Conservation Area.

“As part of the excellent and comprehensive OPDC draft Local Plan consultation, officers promised that where proposed schemes were in excess of the draft Masterplan guidelines – as this scheme is – it would have to be justified on the basis of ‘exceptional design quality’ : It is universally agreed by all the local groups and nearby residents that the design of this scheme – on which there was minimal public consultation as compared with say the Car Giant site – can only be regarded as dismal.”

It is most unfortunate that Zac Goldsmith lost – as he had a very different policy on tower blocks. But that’s democracy.

To their credit Hammersmith and Fulham Council has opposed the decision taken by the Mayor. But the opposition is very quiet and mild due to the obvious political constraints. There have been plenty of press releases from the Council attacking the Conservative Government – but not a word of criticism of Mayor Khan on this or anything else.