Next month the Assembly will decide whether to approve the creation of a Mayoral Development Corporation for the Old Oak Common and Park Royal Area. The convergence of HS2 and Crossrail on a 50 hectare-plus brownfield site represents one of the greatest opportunities for regeneration in London’s history, but we need to make sure that the Mayor’s vision for Old Oak is the right one, and that a Mayoral Development Corporation is the best way to implement that vision.
Yesterday I joined Assembly Members from all parties on a site visit to Old Oak Common and Park Royal. The visit followed on from the Planning Committee’s meeting this summer, and highlights our continuing scrutiny of the Mayor’s plans.
We saw first-hand the current under-utilisation of the brownfield land around Old Oak, the relationship between that site and Wormwood Scrubs to the south, and the highly-productive Park Royal industrial estate. Our visit was led by Victoria Hill, the proposed director of the MDC, who fielded questions from Labour members concerned about the height and design of future development, the make-up of the Mayoral Development Corporation board and planning committee, the impact on existing residents, financing of infrastructure, and the future of industrial uses. Many of these concerns were highlighted in the Labour Group response to the MDC consultation.
We recognise the potential for this area, but our in-principle support does not mean we will give Boris a free ride to do what he wants with the place. We will continue to closely scrutinise these proposals closely.