Go-ahead for Old Oak Common HS2 interchange

HS2 Ltd, the government-owned company tasked with delivering the High Speed Two (HS2) rail project, has secured planning approval for its plans to build a 14 platform railway station at Old Oak Common in west London.

The Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation (OPDC) gave permission yesterday for the new station, which is designed to serve the Crossrail infrastructure project as well as HS2.

The 14-platform station would also serve as an interchange for services from London Paddington to Heathrow Airport and to the west of England and Wales beyond.

The designs for the Old Oak Common station include six high speed and eight conventional service platforms, housed within an 850 metre long station box.

The application also includes a dedicated bus and taxi facility, drop-off and pick up areas, together with pedestrian and cycle links.

The 10.6 hectare site of the proposed station, which is located to the south of the Grand Union Canal and north of Wormwood Scrubs prison, is a former rail maintenance depot.

A report presented to the corporation's planning committee said the station had been reviewed by the HS2 Design Review Panel.

It said the "confident designs", drawn up by engineers WSP and architects Wilkinson Eyre, have the potential to deliver a "high-quality building with an uplifting series of internal spaces".

While the 23.5 metre high station building would be visible from the surrounding neighbourhood, given the high quality of its design and overall scale in the context of the surrounding opportunity area, it would not need to be modified to preserve the local environment or local amenity, the report said.

A public square in front of the station building, which is set back around 300 metres from the road, would ensure that it does not appear overbearing to the closest residential properties, according to the report.

Recommending approval, the report said that the proposed design and external appearance of the building are both considered "acceptable", subject to conditions relating to finishing materials.

The new station is intended to be a catalyst for the regeneration of former railway and industrial land in the Old Oak and Park Royal area.

Liz Peace, chair of OPDC said: "The approval of HS2's Old Oak Common Station design marks a significant milestone in the delivery of this nationally important project. The new station will unlock a huge regeneration opportunity, bringing billions of pounds of investment into the local community and the wider UK economy.

"Now, more so than ever, the delivery of new and affordable homes and jobs at Old Oak and Park Royal is needed to capitalise on the unrivalled connectivity that HS2 will bring."

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