Listening to our local community and building a vision together
OPDC began its Community Forum series in January 2017 with two meetings: one for voluntary organisations and charities and the second for local residents.
The aim of these Forums is to start an honest and regular dialogue with the local community to make sure that the people the voluntary sector represent and support are involved in the future regeneration of Old Oak and Park Royal, west London.
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What happened at the voluntary organisations and charities Forum:
A key focus of the Forum is to create a working relationship with voluntary organisations and charities that operate in and around Old Oak and Park Royal. This ongoing partnership is important as we want to create an inclusive and accessible new part of west London and ensure their expertise and knowledge is part of the discussion in to this future vision for the area.
We were delighted to have over 30 attendees from across the Boroughs of Brent, Ealing and Hammersmith & Fulham. OPDC CEO, Victoria Hills, highlighted the planning boundary area and the Corporation’s purpose to oversee the delivery of 25,500 new homes and 65,000 new jobs. We discovered a common misconception among residents who thought the housing project is being carried out by private developers. However, the reality is public sector servants are working to create new jobs and homes on behalf of the Mayor of London.
Head of Development, Alun Hughes, talked about OPDC’s central role working with stakeholders to coordinate the complex levels of infrastructure needed across the site. These include amenities, trains, bridges, utilities, gas, electricity and water. As a Corporation we want to maximise the potential of the regeneration project for both current and future residents and communities, but we need the views and input from the local community to achieve the vision well.
What happened at the Community Forum:
Since OPDC was established, there has been an ongoing focus on engaging with our community, and as a continuation of this activity it was great to have an oversubscribed event with so many new faces.
After welcoming 45+ attendees, Victoria talked about OPDC’s ‘open door’ policy and genuine desire to listen to our community. Adding that we might not always be able to agree with the points raised, but we are committed to working closely with the local community and together creating somewhere everyone can be proud of.
After a whistle-stop tour through the preliminary 2016 draft Local Plan consultation findings, Head of Planning Policy, Tom Cardis, went through in more detail how two distinctive areas are progressing: Scrubs Lane and Victoria Road. The initial plans for early delivery in these two areas are focussed on how OPDC can form planning policy that will support and create thriving communities.
We really enjoyed hosting these forums and there will be many more to come, with the Forums taking place twice a year.