Sadiq Khan hits out at Boris Johnson for "mess" left at Old Oak Common

 
Rebecca Smith
Khan has backed the regeneration plans but had a few choice words for Boris Johnson
Khan has backed the regeneration plans but had a few choice words for Boris Johnson (Source: Getty)

Sadiq Khan has given his full backing to the huge regeneration at Old Oak Common, but lashed out at his predecessor Boris Johnson for leaving the plans in "a mess".

Laying out the findings of his review of the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation (OPDC), the London Mayor criticised Boris Johnson for rushing the process.

Khan said: "Old Oak and Park Royal is one of the most important regeneration projects in London but it has been left in a mess by my predecessor. We need to make sure the fundamentals are in place now so we get the best deal for Londoners."

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It is clear from this review that Boris Johnson was rushing headlong into agreeing a land deal with government that was not in the city’s best interests, potentially reducing the amount of affordable housing that can be obtained from the site.

I will continue to lobby government to ensure this scheme meets the needs of the city and that we squeeze every drop of potential out of this opportunity.

The review pointed out that Birmingham will receive significant government-led investment for a new Metro station and there was evidence to show a greater level of government funding was made available to other areas along the HS2 line.

Work on the Crossrail Depot near Willesden Junction
Work on the Crossrail Depot near Willesden Junction (Source: Getty)

A new HS2 and Crossrail station is due to be constructed at Old Oak Common by 2026. OPDC was established in April of last year to oversee development for the wider area and has full planning powers within its 650 hectare boundary that includes land in the boroughs of Hammersmith & Fulham, Ealing and Brent.

The area in West London near Acton and Willesden Junction spans railway lines, sidings and depots south of the Grand Union Canal as well as industrial estates.

Khan announced a formal review of OPDC in June to explore the benefits of the regeneration opportunity for Londoners.

A series of recommendations were made, including that Khan will make a clear case to government that he will only agree to a land deal if it's in the best interests of London. He thinks the current offer could restrict the amount of genuinely affordable housing in the area.

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The review said the Mayor should "continue to make a strong case to government to provide financial support and devolve further fiscal powers to London to meet the cost of infrastructure" which should not be the capital's burden alone.

Since Khan announced the review, planning permission for the Oaklands development was granted providing 605 new homes and a target of 50 per cent affordable housing was agreed with the developer.

A planning submission for the North Kensington Gate development has also been submitted.

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