OPDC green-lights 56-storey resi block and pair of 51-storey sister towers

Pilbrow & Partners’ proposals for three residential tower blocks in west London have received the backing of the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation.

The towers, the tallest of which would be 56 storeys, are part of a seven-block mixed-use scheme drawn up for Imperial College London and earmarked for the site of the UK headquarters of electrical retailer Currys.

Imperial College’s proposals would deliver more than 1,300 homes and a further 384 units of student accommodation or co-living space in a 19-storey building.

The plans for 1 Portal Way in North Acton also include more than 20,000sq m of space for office or commercial use and a 17-storey building that could either house a 260-room hotel or around 11,600sq m of office space.

Members of the OPDC Planning Committee resolved to approve the development team’s hybrid planning application for the 1.85ha site at a meeting earlier this month.

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Pilbrow & Partners’ North Acton plans, seen from Wales Farm Road

Subject to the approval of Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and the agreement of Section 106 planning-obligation contributions, the decision backs detailed consent for the 56-storey tower and the student-accommodation or co-living block.

The OPDC Planning Committee’s decision supports outline consent for the other elements of the scheme, including the two additional residential towers, a 19-storey office building, the hotel block, and a seven-storey residential building with around 1,100sq m of space for commercial or community use.

Recommending the proposals for approval, OPDC planning officers said Pilbrow & Partners’ tower proposals were comparable in height to the tallest element of BUJ Architects’ recently-constructed One West Point scheme and KPF’s 45- and 55-storey towers consented for 4 Portal Way.

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“The proposed development will provide a good quality of architecture and urban design, with a site layout that contributes to the creation of an active, interesting and safe environment with a significant area of landscaped public open space that will serve North Acton town centre,” officers said.

“The impact on heritage assets that has been assessed is only temporary during construction and is clearly outweighed by the public benefits of the proposal, and the tall buildings are considered to have an overall positive impact on townscape views.”

After the decision the project team said the development would “provide a new heart for North Acton” and create homes, green public spaces, workspace and shops on a brownfield site.

CGI of the proposed green heart at the centre of the site_WEB

“Imperial College London is a long-term investor in North Acton, having already delivered new developents at 140 Wales Farm Road and the Woodward Buildings,” the team said in a statement.

“Approval for this central site is an exciting milestone for the regeneration of the area. Imperial will continue to work with OPDC and Ealing Council to secure full planning permission.”

The development site is a few hundred metres away from the under-construction HS2 interchange station at Old Oak Common.