A panel of speakers at an event at MIPIM focussed on Old Oak and Park Royal, and highlighted the criucial importance of getting the infratructure right to enable the homes and jobs promised by the overall regeneration, as well as a number of other themes key to the success of London’s largest regeneration project.
OPDC have made progress, and outlined some of their thinking around delivering the connections – in particular bridges – which will be needed to enable and catalyse the rest of the works. In addition, there is work going on in energy and water supply, two crucial pieces of the puzzle to enhance the industrial element of the area.
It’s also been important to keep plans for the HS2 station flexible, to allow options for schemes on and around the station to be kept open.
Liz Peace, Chair OPDC, said: “We have made a lot of progress in the last year, by breaking the project down into bite-size chunks. And we are making sure HS2 don’t close any options off with their station design”.
Hari Sothinathan, Director, Deloitte Real Estate, a core advisor to OPDC, said: “Infrastructure delivery is key, we need this in order to begin delivery of homes – we’re talking about roads and bridges.”
Liz Peace echoed this by saying: “We can’t get anywhere without building bridges”, which could of course be a motto for all of OPDC’s work.
Jeremy Stibbe, of Genesis Housing Association, now on site at Oaklands with a mixed use scheme anchored on 605 homes talked about placemaking: “The big thing is to get the Place right, and we’re working with the Great Places scheme to make sure that happens. And we need to get as much of the site in to production to make that change of place as quickly as possible.”
Faye Wilders of Fairview Homes, who are on site at the First Central site with an 807 home scheme jointly with L&Q, emphasised the need for speed: “This is one of the fastest deliveries of a regen site in London. The site brief was prepared in 2016, plans were submitted in May 2017, approved in November, and on site days after that”.
The first completions on that site are expected in 2019, with the whole scheme complete by 2022.
Faye continued, saying that OPDC had shared the Fairview desire for speed: “It’s been a refreshing change to work with an authority focussed on delivery, and keen to help us get on site quickly.”
Alan Holland, of SEGRO, emphasising the requirement to preserve and enhance Park Royal’s unique role in the capital, said: “This is a unique, transformational opportunity. Park Royal is europe’s largest concentration of light industrial space, and provides an essential service to London and the UK. We see a huge opportunity to provide an enhanced industrial park.
“And can we, together, look at the convergence of employment and residential, and deliver more? Can we produce genuine mixed use industrial and residential schemes?”
It is to be hoped we can.