Mayor of London to review plans for multi-billion pound city in Harlesden
PUBLISHED: 17:38 27 June 2016 | UPDATED: 18:02 27 June 2016
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The Mayor of London will formally review plans for a new city in the Harlesden and Park Royal area to ensure it will include enough affordable housing.
Sadiq Khan will probe the multi-billion pound development of Old Oak Common amid concerns over the cost and whether it offers value for money to Londoners.
Under the 30-year long scheme a new city on the 950 hectare site will be called Old Oak Park and includes up to 7,000 new homes, 50 new buildings, community and sports facilities around a Central Square, shops and a new high street called Old Oak Walk which features a 25 metre wide pedestrian area.
A new primary school, community centre and a healthcare facility are also included in the plans.
The Labour politician has also expressed concerns that Boris Johnson, his Conservative predecessor, may have ‘rushed into the deal’ without making enough checks particularly over existing land ownerships and other technical planning requirements.
Mr Johnson set up a new body, known as the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation (OPDC), to lead the transformation which was approved by the government last year.
The project which stretches across the boroughs of Brent, Ealing and Hammersmith & Fulham, promises to boost the economy in the area by £15billion through the creation of the new homes and more than 8,000 jobs.
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.
“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 new city also plans to include a new train station as a major transport hub where High Speed 2 meets Crossrail, creating super-fast links in and out of the area.
Mr Khan will also scrutinise the terms agreed in March this year that allows OPDC to take ownership from government of public land surrounding the proposed new station.
Cllr Muhammed Butt, Leader of Brent Council, said: “We welcome the Mayor of London’s review to ensure that the regeneration at Old Oak and Park Royal brings maximum benefits to this part of north west London.
“There is, I feel, the need for greater ambition in the number of homes and genuine affordable homes, both critical to meeting growth projections. By bringing together shared public land and creating stations that are not just points of transit but are developed as hubs for commerce, housing and retail, and even more integration of rail services, such as a Crossrail spur to Wembley, our residents can easily access jobs across London.
“Brent Council’s main priority is to secure improvements that support local residents including significant numbers of new affordable homes, new job opportunities and enhanced transport links. It’s also important that the regeneration happens in a way that complements existing town centres including Harlesden.
“We look forward to contributing to the review.”
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