A “Hudson Yards style” over-track development is being considered for Willesden Junction station.
Speaking to New Civil Engineer Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation (OPDC) chair Liz Peace said that masterplanner Aecom was looking into the opportunities at the site, including building over the tracks.
While admitting that a “Hudson Yards style” project was a “bit of a gleam in our eye”, Peace said that the station has massive potential for future development.
“In the longer term the potential for Willesdent Junction is really interesting,” said Peace. “I’ve spoken to Network Rail and to Brent council and I think there’s a lot of interest in how you could develop the area.”
Hudson Yards is a massive high-rise development being built over 26ha of live railway tracks in Manhattan, New York. The move to build over the tracks would be in keeping with recent proposals to build over Clapham Junction and Victoria stations.
Willesden Junction station sits to the north of the Old Oak Common development and is surrounded by railway tracks. Peace said the ultimate prize for the area would be to connect it to Harlesden north west of the station. She added that the development could be added as an additional phase to the Old Oak Common project.
“The development could be done in the later stages, in conjunction with the thinking around the western wedge [of the Old Oak Common development] ,” she said. “We’re thinking about some sort of development around Willesden, maybe over the railway line.
“It would be a big complicated project because there’s a lot of railway line, but the prize would be to be able to connect it with Harlesden.”
In the meantime, the corporation is looking to improve the area together with Wormwood Scrubs and Scrubs Lane with £750,000 of funding from the mayor. Peace said the money would not be enough to do anything substantial in the area, but it would be able to improve the public realm with some new planting, benches, improved wayfinding, bringing “a bit of new life” to the “neglected” station.