A massive 7ha over site development ‘deck’ is to be built over the new Crossrail depot in Old Oak Common to allow for future development of the site.
Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation (ODPC) chief executive Victoria Hills revealed the move at a lecture at the ICE last night.
The depot sits smack in the centre of the planned Old Oak Common development and there are real fears that if it is not moved or dealt with the chance to capitalise on the mammonth 650ha site will be lost.
Moving the depot has been ruled out, forcing the development corporation to seek alternative solutions.
“There can be no doubt that the depot has to be built by the time it [Crossrail] opens in 2018,” she said. “Obviously with the benefit of hindsight we might have done things differently, but that doesn’t say that you can’t move forward with the development opportunity here.”
The decision to locate the Crossrail depot on the west London site was taken in 2008, before plans were announced to sweep High Speed 2 (HS2) through the site and use it as one of its major transport interchanges.
Construction of the depot is now underway and work will be completed by 2018 - a year before any development of Old Oak Common is likely to begin.
But nevertheless Hills’ corporation has now reached an agreement with Crossrail promoter Transport for London to deal with the problem by decking over the depot site.
“I’m delighted that TfL have now presented a plan to the mayor and the mayor is happy with that and so are the ODPC board,” said Hills. “That plan sees a deck put over the Crossrail depot at a time when the corporation needs it.”
She added that: “The station doesn’t open for another 10 years, we have plenty of time to plan and get the deck ready. But the really good news is that there is a very clear plan and all the parties are signed up to it.”
Hills said that the ODPC had been looking at other examples of large decks around the world and cited Hudson Yards in New York as an inspiration for the deck over the depot.
“We’ve been looking at decks, not just in the UK,” she said. “We’ve recently looked at Hudson Yards in New York. That’s the largest deck in the world and it’s really impressive,” she added.
Hudson Yards is the largest private real estate development in the history of the United States and, according to the developers it is the largest development in New York City since Rockefeller Centre. The developers anticipate that more than 24M people will visit Hudson Yards every year.
Hudson Yards above the tracks
Source: Geoff Butler
To complete the 11.3ha Hudson Yards development, two “platforms” will be constructed to bridge over 30 active Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) train tracks, three subsurface rail tunnels used by Amtrak and New Jersey Transit, and a fourth passageway, the Gateway tunnel, completed in late 2014.
The finished buildings’ foundations extend through the platform and rise above. The platforms will cover approximately three-quarters of the Eastern and Western Yards and create more than 23,000 construction jobs.
Hudson Yards no. 10 and 30
The site will include more than 1.6km2 of commercial and residential space, more than 100 shops, a collection of restaurants, approximately 5,000 residences, 5.7ha of public open space, a 750-seat public school and a 200-room luxury hotel.