Stockley Park, Hillingdon
A business park with surrounding leisure facilities, situated north of the Grand Union Canal and one-and-a-half miles east of West Drayton
A 350-acre site, previously derelict, was transformed in the late 1980s into a commercial science park, now regarded as the foremost development on the ‘West London Corridor’.
“Smothered in topsoil … and landscaped to within an inch of its life,” as Diamond Geezer has put it, Stockley Park provided one of London’s largest public parks and open spaces to be created in the 20th century and is touted as an example of what can be achieved by public/private partnerships and at no cost to the local community.
Architectural critics were divided over Stockley Park’s aesthetics, and some industry commentators have called it ‘grim’ and ‘dreary’ – hardly what its creators intended. The site changed hands several times after the project began. Nevertheless, the early occupiers’ list read like a who’s who of high-tech – although some have since pulled out.
The business area is set in a landscaped country park, with an 18-hole public golf course. Plans for a rail link and a station, Heathrow North, to be based just outside Stockley Park have not come to fruition but the park’s tenants have had some success in reducing vehicle usage through cycle-to-work and car sharing schemes.
Following a spate of late-night car cruising in 2002 security barriers were erected to prevent use of the park as a through route, so the tree-lined boulevards are almost empty of traffic – except for under-used buses and kids racing their bikes. And even at lunchtimes only a handful of workers take a stroll or make use of the green spaces.
Stockley Park has been gaining a little fame recently (and potentially notoriety) as the home of the Premier League Match Centre, at IMG Studios, where English football’s video assistant refereeing technology and team are based.
Postcode area: West Drayton, UB11
Website: Stockley Park