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London Mayor launches review of Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation

Words: Laura Edgar
Traction maintenance depot

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has launched a formal review of Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation (OPDC), aiming to ensure that Londoners ‘reap the maximum benefits’ from the regeneration project in the west of the capital.

The project includes a new High Speed 2 (HS2) and Crossrail station and aims to deliver 24,000 homes and create 55,000 jobs. OPDC has full planning powers within its 650-hectare boundary. 

The corporation was established by former Mayor of London Boris Johnson in April 2015 to drive forward future development plans for the area.

Khan said he is keen to ensure that the plans deliver the “highest amount of genuinely affordable homes as possible”.

The review, according to a statement from the mayor’s office, will scrutinise the terms of the Memorandum of Understanding agreed in March this year. It paves the way for the corporation to take ownership from the government of public land surrounding the proposed new station.

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 statement continues.

The mayor has also said he believes Johnson may have rushed into this deal without doing the “due diligence checks that would be expected”, particularly regarding land ownership, among other planning requirements.

The review also aims to consider the funding required for infrastructure at Old Oak Common to make sure that development there is integrated with neighbouring communities.

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 is expected to be completed within two months.

Old Oak And Park Royal Regeneration: What You Need To Know can be found here.

Image credit | Petr Brož