Cargiant, the largest private land owner at Old Oak, has been reported as being unhappy with the progress around the UK’s largest regeneration programme, but the Mayor of London’s office has said Cargiant are attempting to frustrate the delivery of over 20,000 homes.
The used-car sales business who own and operate a 900-employee 46-acre site at the heart of the Old Oak Common site, which is a crucial part of the regeneration plans, have criticised the Old Oak & Park Royal Development Corporation
Cargiant is reported as saying that if its site cannot be developed, the aspirations for the whole programme will need to be accepted, and are calling for a pause on spending for a review. They also say that not enough progress has been made on land ownership, and infrastructure plans, and that they believe around 25% of their operational land will be required for early schemes in the 20 year programme, making it hard for them to continue trading.
Their key long term issue is needing somewhere else to operate their business from, once they vacate the Old Oak site. The scale of their land requirement is such that it is difficult to find anywhere inside the M25 of a suitable size.
A spokesperson for the Mayor of London, said: “These are unhelpful comments that are designed to delay the regeneration of Old Oak and the delivery of new homes and jobs. It is no secret that this is a complex site that requires careful planning and investment and was left in a mess by the Mayor’s predecessor. It is disappointing that Car Giant continue to frustrate this scheme that could deliver so much for Londoners.”
In addition, David Lunts, interim Chief Executive Officer of Old Oak & Park Royal Development Corporation, said: “As part of our plans eventually to build a new district for West London, with 25,000 new homes and up to 65,000 new jobs, OPDC published on 3 June a plan showing the possible extent of land acquisition necessary for the first phase of the regeneration of Old Oak. This represents the maximum extent of land that might be required and provides a basis for discussion with landowners but it is not a final plan and we will be working with occupiers and land owners to seek to minimise the eventual land required.
“Although the plan includes around 25 per cent of Cargiant’s ownership in the area, we believe it is only between 5 and 10 per cent that relates to operational business, the rest being let to various third parties. Any acquisitions will involve full and fair compensation.
“It is disappointing that Cargiant is currently refusing to engage with us but we remain keen to work with them to ensure that they are able to continue to operate their business successfully, and to discuss relocation options for the longer-term redevelopment of their main site at Old Oak”.