Eight weeks of consultation on a “local plan” for Old Oak – where QPR has said it wants to build a new stadium – has started.
The consultation, by the planning authority for the area – the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation – is on a plan that provides the blueprint for those who want to put forward planning applications. The plan will not be finally agreed until Spring 2017.
However, the chair of the development corporation has announced that five planning “pre-applications” are already with the Development Corporation – including one from Car Giant.
Another public consultation is underway on plans for housing on a nearby pocket of land. These plans have been drawn up by QPR Holdings, Genesis Housing and Stadium Capital Development.
And, of course, Car Giant are consulting on their plans for the area.
QPR1st Supporters’ Trust believes that, with so much going on, there can be no justification for the club remaining silent on its plans for a new stadium. Most fans are supportive of efforts to build a new stadium – but without any information from the club coming doubts are bound to grow.
Supporters will understand if the original proposals, announced in December 2013 have had to be changed, or if other options are now under consideration. Clearly, the timescale must now be radically different.
The Development Corporation view
At a meeting of the Greater London Assembly Regeneration Committee on Tuesday development corporation chairman Sir Edward Lister and chief executive Victoria Hills said their immediate focus was on acquiring publicly-owned land and they will work on an infrastructure strategy (transport, utilities, schools and health services) until 2018/19.
Lister said development can go ahead whether HS2 is approved or not (originally the development was to be centred around the HS2 station) because there will still be a Crossrail station.
Another observation was that one option being looked at would be a deck across the top of the Crossrail depot. This would be next to the pocket of land QPR holdings want to develop. We wonder if the deck would be big enough for a stadium. The club may know.
The draft local plan from the development corporation published yesterday does not make direct reference to a football stadium, but it does say that Old Oak South – south of the canal and close to the proposed Crossrail station – could have a potential “catalyst use”, which means a landmark development. A football stadium would be just such a catalyst.
Significantly, the area north of the canal, largely owned by Car Giant is earmarked for housing and small and medium enterprises rather than a larger-scale catalyst.
Most of the area around the station will be developed after 2026. We do not know if some of the land will be open for development before then. The club may know.
Meetings are taking place as part of these consultations.
More information and meeting dates on the development corporation consultation, which continues until 31 March, is here https://opdc.commonplace.is
More information and meeting dates on the current Car Giant consultation on its plans is here http://www.oldoakpark.co.uk
Information and meeting dates on the QPR holdings proposal for new housing at Old Oak Lane is here http://www.oaklandsregeneration.co.uk/index.html
The official QPR website section on the new stadium was last updated on 22 April 2015.