Old Oak plans scrutinised

Old-Oak-proposals June 2013The London Assembly has scrutinised proposals by the Mayor of London to set up a Mayoral Development Corporation for the Old Oak Common area.

The plans would, hopes the Mayor, transform Old Oak Common into a new neighbourhood creating up to 24,000 new homes and more than 55,000 jobs.

The High Speed 2 (HS2) and Crossrail interchange is due to be built at Old Oak Common by 2026. The new station will be the size of Waterloo, handling 250,000 passengers a day.

The Mayor believes that the best way to bring economic benefit to the area surrounding the new station is to form a new body, to be called the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation (OPDC). He thinks this would enable a £15bn boost to London’s economy over 30 years.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson said: “This is one of the biggest and most exciting regeneration schemes for decades and will rival the impact that the Olympics had in East London. With the city’s population skyrocketing towards the nine million mark we need to squeeze every drop of potential out of this opportunity and a Mayoral Development Corporation will drive forward the delivery of the homes and jobs that London is crying out for.”

An Extraordinary Plenary of the London Assembly today considered the Mayor’s formal proposals to designate the Mayoral development area at Old Oak and Park Royal. The Mayor will now write to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Eric Pickles stating his intention to move ahead with the creation of the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation.

As well as promoting and delivering physical, social, economic and environmental regeneration, the Mayor says the Corporation will also safeguard and develop Park Royal as a strategic industrial location and attract long-term investment to the area, including from overseas.

Once established, the proposed OPDC would take on various statutory powers relating to infrastructure, regeneration, land acquisitions and financial assistance. It would also take on planning powers across the Old Oak and Park Royal area, including determination of planning applications. The Corporation will also be able to set a Community Infrastructure Levy.

The OPDC will be chaired by the Mayor of London or designate and it is proposed that the Corporation’s board will include councillors from the three relevant boroughs and representatives from the local community. The OPDC will delegate certain planning applications back to the local councils for determination.

It is expected that the legislation to establish the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation will be laid before Parliament in early 2015 and that the Corporation will come into existence, with full planning powers over the entire site on April 1, 2015.

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