Aecom has won its bid to develop a masterplan for the Old Oak Common site in north-west London.
The Aecom-led team was chosen as preferred bidder at a closed session of the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation (OPDC) board on May 11. The decision was made on a scoring system giving a 75% weighting to the technical submission and a 25% weighting to the costs.
The team behind the masterplan 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. Spatial masterplan, phasing, transport, commercial and residential strategies are expected to be completed by Spring 2018.
Aecom has been supporting Mott McDonald on the concept design for the HS2 station at Old Oak Common. The tender for the next stage of the station design was announced by HS2 Ltd in April this year with a contract value of around £70M.
In late March, London mayor Sadiq Khan announced his long awaited decision to appoint Liz Peace as the new chair for the corporation. The appointment of the master planners had been left hanging, pending the appointment.
Aecom’s appointment appears to be the first major decision by the former British Property Federation chief executive. It will now unlock a raft of other decisions to be made around the future of the area.
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 OPDC has previously suggested that a 7ha “megadeck” could be built over the Crossrail depot, which sits in the middle of the new site. This would enable the construction of property developments above the depot. But after the delay of appointing the master planning team, there were fears that timescales for the co-ordination required to build the deck would not be met.
In early March – before Peace was announced – OPDC chief executive Victoria Hills moved to quel these fears by saying that the deadlines for the master plan would be met and that it will be published by the end of the year.
“I don’t want to come across as being flippant,” said Hills. “Of course there is urgency because in our masterplan we need to be clear what the future strategy is and which bits are going and which bits are staying.