Brent Council slams Mayor of London’s regeneration plans for Harlesden and Park Royal

Boris Johnson is the Mayor of London (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)

Boris Johnson is the Mayor of London (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage) - Credit: WireImage

Brent Council have slammed proposals to grant the Mayor of London with sweeping new planning powers to deliver the regeneration of Old Oak Common and Park Royal.

Boris Johnson is the Mayor of London (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)

Boris Johnson is the Mayor of London (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage) - Credit: WireImage

Under the proposals, a new Mayoral Development Corporation (MDC) will be set up to oversee the major transformation of the areas as part of a 30-year regeneration programme.

Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, claims the scheme will deliver 24,000 new homes and 55,000 new jobs in the district.

It aims to maximise the benefits of the proposed improvements to the rail network in Old Oak Common, including a new High Speed 2 and Crossrail interchange, and a football stadium for Queens Park Rangers.

While acknowledging the need of a new body to deliver the project, a report by Brent Council’s strategic director of regeneration and growth identifies a catalogue of concerns over the plans.

Boris Johnson is the Mayor of London (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)

Boris Johnson is the Mayor of London (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage) - Credit: WireImage

It calls for the boundary, under the remit of the proposed MDC, to exclude the Northfield Industrial Estate, as not to infringe on the council’s own regeneration plans for Alperton.

In addition, the 10-page dossier calls for the council cabinet members to reject a change which impacts a charge set by the local authority to developers of new builds -known as the community infrastructure levy.

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What’s more, the report identifies the need for Cllr Muhammed Butt, leader of Brent Council, to sit on the MDC board to maximise the proposed improvements to the borough’s transport and social infrastructure.

He said: “We are going to make sure we have our say and get the best outcome for our residents in terms of more jobs, affordable housing and improved transport links.”

Boris Johnson is the Mayor of London (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)

Boris Johnson is the Mayor of London (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage) - Credit: WireImage

A MDC would also take over planning powers from the Ealing and Hammersmith & Fulham councils and has only been set up once before for the delivery of the Olympic Park development in Stratford, east London.

A public consultation which started on June 18 will end on September 24.

While the three boroughs can express reservations, the decision will ultimately be taken by Mr Johnson.

He would first have to submit his proposals to the London Assembly – which has the power of veto, and then notify the Secretary of State.

If successful, the MDC will operate from the beginning of April next year.

Brent Council cabinet members will discuss the plans in their next meeting on Monday.

Sir Edward Lister, deputy mayor for planning said: “The arrival of Crossrail and HS2 represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to transform Old Oak Common and Park Royal into an entirely new city quarter for London with up to 24,000 new homes and more than 55,000 jobs.

He continued: “He [the Mayor] believes that working collaboratively with all stakeholders will be absolutely vital to the overall success of the scheme, with the huge scale of development requiring strong and clear strategic leadership and governance to ensure consistent delivery.

“He will consider all formal responses once the consultation period has ended.”

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