London mayor Sadiq Khan has launched a formal review of the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation (OPDC), the organisation charged with regenerating Old Oak in West London.
City Hall said Mr Khan had called for the review ‘to ensure Londoners reap the maximum benefits of the huge regeneration opportunity in this part of the capital’.
The OPDC has full planning powers within its 650 hectare boundary, which includes land in the three separate West London boroughs. A new HS2 and Crossrail station is due to be constructed at Old Oak Common by 2026.
Its strategic plan states the OPDC aims to oversee the creation of more than 25,500 new homes and 65,000 jobs in the area, and claims the development 'will boost the UK economy by an estimated £7bn a year'.
London mayor Sadiq Khan
OPDC was established by the previous mayor, Boris Johnson, in April 2015 to drive forward future development plans for the wider area.
City Hall said Mr Khan ‘is particularly keen to ensure that the plans deliver the highest amount of genuinely affordable homes possible’ but believes that his predecessor, Boris Johnson, ‘may have rushed into this deal without doing the due diligence checks that would be expected’.
James Murray, deputy mayor for housing, 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.’
He added: ‘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 scrutinise the terms of a memorandum of understanding agreed in March this year, which paves the way for OPDC to take ownership from Government of public land surrounding the proposed new station.
City Hall said Mr Khan wants to be reassured about the nature of the offer and wants to make sure London is getting a ‘similarly favourable deal’, compared to other locations along the HS2 route such as Birmingham, and the regeneration of Ebbsfleet, which received major Government investment.
It is expected that the review will be complete within two months.