Will the Science Museum relocate to Old Oak Park in Harlesden?
PUBLISHED: 10:16 29 January 2016 | UPDATED: 16:01 29 January 2016
The team behind the transformation of Old Oak Park have announced plans to locate a “world famous cultural institution” in the area as part of a £5billion development.
Launching the Old Oak Common master plan, vehicle dealership Cargiant, which currently owns the 46-acre park site, sparked speculation over which attraction is poised to relocate to the heart of a new “cultural quarter”.
City Hall insiders have suggested the Science Museum could move its archives of 170,000 unexhibited scientific objects from their current storage area in South Kensington to the site.
An official spokesman for the project was tight-lipped about the mystery “institution” which is set to provide educational facilities but confirmed talks were underway and a final decision on relocation to the 50,000 square foot building would be announced “towards the end of spring”.
The master plan, announced at the start of a two-week public consultation into the major transformation of the area, also revealed previous plans to build 9,000 new homes have been scaled back to 7,000 to make way for bigger parks, gardens, and a nature reserve.
Geoff Springer, Old Oak Park development director, said: “Old Oak Park is going to be an exceptional new piece of London – where we will create new homes at all tenures and price ranges, job opportunities that people can access, good schools, great parks and an incredible canal-side environment.
“At its heart will be a fascinating cultural quarter that will bring people from all over the capital, the UK and even the world, to this part of West London.”
The plans for the current car lot, laid out in images revealed today by architects PLP/ Architects Arup, include a 200m viaduct in tribute to “Britain’s great engineering heritage” and a towpath around the centerpiece Grand Union Canal riverfront.
Developers also revealed Old Oak Park will offer community and sports facilities around a Central Square, leading on to a market, shops and a new high street.
They hope new office space, retail and leisure is set to bring 8,000 jobs and investment to the area.
The new plans will be seen as a blow to Queens Park Rangers’ ambitions to build a 40,000-seat stadium at Old Oak Common, although the club is still being considered for other potential sites in the area.
Announcing the regeneration plans in January last year, London Mayor Boris Johnson claimed the 950 hectare ‘city’ spanning from Brent to Park Royal and Ealing will bring 24,000 jobs and a £15bn boost to the local economy.
The new community will be transformed by 2026 into a major transport gateway to the rest of the UK with the arrival of Crossrail and HS2 lines. It will also benefit from an overground station at Hythe Road between Willesden Junction and Shepherd’s Bush.
The regeneration of the 950 hectare site that straddles Brent, Hammersmith & Fulham, and Ealing will take place over a 30-year period and includes the construction of a vast High Speed 2 (HS2) and Crossrail Station by 2026.
Residents and members of the public will also have the chance to contribute their comments on the plans at Old Oak Park consultation events taking place over the next two weeks before a likely planning application in the summer.
Old Oak Park consultation sessions:
-Thursday 28 January, 3.30pm - 7.30pm: Cumberland House, 80 Scrubs Lane, NW10 6RF
-Friday 29 January, 4pm - 7pm: Cumberland House, 80 Scrubs Lane, NW10 6RF
-Saturday 30 January, 10am-4pm: Linford Christie Stadium, Artillery Way, off Du Cane Road, W12 0AE
-Thursday 4 February, 3.30pm - 7.30pm: Harlesden Methodist Church, 25 High Street, NW10 4NE
-Saturday 6 February, 10am - 4pm: Harlesden Methodist Church, 25 High Street, NW10 4NE
-Thursday 11 February, 3.30pm - 7.30pm: Holiday Inn London West, 4 Portal Way, North Acton, W3 6RT
-Saturday 13 February, 10am - 4pm: Holiday Inn London West, 4 Portal Way, North Acton, W3 6RT