Developing a masterplan for Old Oak Common in north west London which is capable of adapting to the future is the key challenge for Aecom, the project’s lead engineer Andrew Jones has explained in an interview with New Civil Engineer.
An Aecom-led team was chosen as preferred bidder for the masterplan contract at a closed session of the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation (OPDC) board on May 11. The team behind the Aecom bid also includes architects Asif Khan, BIG, MaccreanorLavington and WilkinsonEyre. Subject to a standstill period, Aecom could start work this month, with the initial drafts of the masterplan ready by early 2018.
Aecom practice leader for design planning and economics Andrew Jones said the main complexities for the site would be the piecing together of the infrastructure and getting the many different stakeholders to agree to a greater plan.
The new scheme for the 650ha site will need to tie together plans for the controversial Crossrail depot, High Speed 2 Old Oak Common station, Great Western Rail link and a huge new development of residential and commercial properties.
“The main things with the site in terms of complexity is the infrastructure which we have to see as a series of connectors, rather than pieces of infrastructure which are severing the site and the surrounding areas,” said Jones.
“As we work through those, there are so many different parties which need to be engaged: communities and local authorities on one hand and through to major developers and landowners and national infrastructure providers. They all need to be pulling in the same direction.”
In delivering a masterplan fit for the future, Jones said it needed to be able to adapt and change as technology developed.
“This development is going to stretch out until 2030 so as we’re building this plan we’ve got to anticipate the future.” He added: “We’re not planning for a scheme which is based on the past but one that is capable of changing with the future.”