Mayor launches review of Old Oak and Park Royal Corporation
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has launched a formal review of the organisation charged with regenerating Old Oak in West London.
The Mayor has called the review of the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation (OPDC) to ensure Londoners reap the maximum benefits of the huge regeneration opportunity in this part of the capital.
A new High Speed 2 (HS2) and Crossrail Station is due to be constructed at Old Oak Common by 2026. OPDC was established by the previous Mayor, Boris Johnson, in April 2015 to drive forward future development plans for the wider area. OPDC has full planning powers within its 650 hectare boundary that includes land in the boroughs of Hammersmith & Fulham, Ealing and Brent.
Sadiq Khan is particularly keen to ensure that the plans deliver the highest amount of genuinely affordable homes possible.
The review will also scrutinise the terms of a Memorandum of Understanding agreed in March this year that paves the way for OPDC to take ownership from Government of public land surrounding the proposed new station. Sadiq Khan wants to be reassured about the nature of the offer and is concerned about how much money it will cost to make the land viable for development, potentially impacting on the amount of genuinely affordable homes the scheme would deliver for Londoners.
The Mayor also believes that Boris Johnson may have rushed into this deal without doing the due diligence checks that would be expected, particularly regarding existing land ownerships and other technical planning requirements. This agreement was signed against a backdrop of major Government investment in other locations along the HS2 route including Birmingham and the regeneration of Ebbsfleet and Sadiq Khan wants to make sure London is getting a similarly favourable deal.
Deputy Mayor for Housing, James Murray said: “Old Oak and Park Royal is one of the most important regeneration projects in London with scope to deliver tens of thousands of new homes and jobs. Although it will be the early 2020s before any significant numbers of new homes are built we need to act now to ensure this project benefits as many Londoners as possible, as quickly as possible. This review will take a detailed look at past decisions made by Boris Johnson and the future direction of the Development Corporation. We are particularly keen to hear from industry experts who can help us ensure that this scheme delivers maximum value for Londoners."
The review will also work to ensure that the views of residents of those boroughs are reflected in any future decisions. It will also consider the funding required for infrastructure at Old Oak Common to ensure development there is properly integrated with surrounding communities and that residential development delivers a mix of genuinely affordable housing types. In addition, it will investigate constraints to development, the level of support committed by central Government to date and where additional support might be appropriate.
It is expected that the review will be complete within two months.