Sunday, 14 September 2014

Brent Council calls for modification of Mayoral Development Corporation' for Park Royal/Old Oak while Hammersmith & Fulham opposes in principle

Brent's Cabinet which meets tomorrow afternoon, will be considering its response to the proposed Mayoral Development Corporation (MDC) that would take control of the regeneration of Old Oak Common and Park Royal. It would cover parts of Brent, Hammersmith and Fulham and Ealing.

Stephen Cowan, leader of  Hammersmith and Fulham Council, came out strongly against it in July, calling it a 'land grab'.
This council objects to an MDC at Old Oak and Park Royal. We are concerned about the Mayor of London’s record on delivering truly affordable homes for Londoners and do not believe he should be entrusted with sole responsibility on a scheme of this importance.

We are committed to changing housing policies so that we build homes for residents rather than investment properties for overseas speculators and look forward to working with Ealing and Brent councils to do that. There is no good business case for the Mayor to step in.

In fact, the move in government over the years has been to devolve more powers to local communities not take them away. The Mayor’s proposed organisation is a throwback to decades long gone, it would be undemocratic and unnecessarily takes away powers from local residents and local businesses and essentially hands them over to developers and unelected bureaucrats.
There is little information on Ealing Council's  response but Brent Council LINK does not follow Hammersmith and Fulham in opposing the MDC in principle:

To support delivery on the scale required there is no doubt a delivery body  with a strong regeneration focus is required. Without such a body there is a real risk that the opportunity HS2 and the Old Oak interchange presents for Brent will be missed. Arguably an MDC gives Brent greater influence over the proposals that will come forward at Old Oak as the Council will have representation on the decision making bodies.
The report goes on to seek some changes in the MDC brief..

In fact, when the Ealing Officer's report LINK sets out their demands if the MDC goes ahead despite their opposition, there is little difference between the two Councils.  Both seek changes in the borders of the MDC zone.  Both seek greater representation on the MDC and quote the Localism Act in their support. Both also seek assurances on the availability of genuinely affordable housing. Brent is also concerned about the CIL (Community Infrastructure Levy).

Countering the MDC proposal Hammermsith and Fulham call for a Joint Area Action Plan:
The Council has also discussed the potential for a joint Area Action Plan that would include land from LBs of Ealing and Brent as well as LBHF. Officers from the three Boroughs have been working well together on this project for a considerable period of time meeting weekly with the GLA and TfL as a JointProject Team and reporting up to a Project Strategy Board. LBHF has resourced the project with key staff who have led on and significantly progressed the project. This process could continue (subject to discussion and agreement with LBs of Ealing and Brent) and a cross borough Area Action Plan could be progressed by the three boroughs without the considerable expense and administration involved insetting up an MDC.

This is not mentioned as far as I can see in the Brent report - Brent offers no alternative, just a modification of the MDC. It is surprising that in dealing with a Tory mayor that three Labour boroughs have not cooperated more on their response.

Brent Officers call for the following local benefits:

Local Benefit
·      significant assurances need to be provided that the MDC will be fully committed to delivering significant outcom es and benefits for local residents and businesses, in addition to mitigating any potential negative impacts of new development. This should include, bu t not be limited to:

·      ensuring that new housing delivered in Old Oak c ontributes significantly to meeting local as well as regional housing needs, providing a range of genuinely affordable products and tenures with nominations agreements secured across all three Bor oughs.

Park Royal

·      deliver significant improvements for established Park Royal businesses, including improved power supply capacity, high speed broadband, improved accessibility and creating safe routes to work. In addition commit to providing affordable and start up workspace as part of the regeneration proposals.

·      Early and significant investment to improve Willesden Junction station in recognition of its medium term function as the primary gateway to Old Oak and a commitment that th ere will be no reduction in commuter services stopping at the stat ion on either the Bakerloo or overground lines. In addition, a recognition that the scale of new development proposed at Old Oak will place significant pressure on Brent’s established transport infrastructure. A strong commitment will be required to promote sustainable transport modes, including additional bus services to both Willesden Junction and Old Oak. Recognition is also needed of the considerable investment required to address the increase in pressure on the wider road network extending far beyond the MDC boundary, both during construction and after delivery of new development.


·      Whilst supportive of HS2, the Council has petitioned the HS2 Bill on an issue of specific concern in respect of a pro posed vent shaft that adversely impacts on the South Kilburn regeneration scheme. It would be beneficial if the GLA and the MDC can support th e Council’s position in respect of its petition.


·      it has recently been announced that the proposed north western extension of Crossrail is not proposed to s top at Wembley Central. This is of considerable concern as it will fail to link the two largest opportunity areas in North West London. There are over 5000 consented homes in Wembley and the Council would wa nt the Mayors full commitment to ensuring that crossrail stops at Wembley Central, thus providing an opportunity to accelerate the del ivery of these homes and connect residents to the employment opportunities in Old Oak and Park Royal.

Social Infrastructure

·      ensure sufficient provision of new schools, health facilities, community infrastructure, sports facilities and open spaces to fully mitigate the impact of the populati on growth associated with the new developments at Old Oak.

Town centres

·      ensure any potential negative impacts on Brent’s town centres from retail development at Old Oak are mitigated through investment and enhancements to Brent’s town centres , particularly those close to Old Oak in Harlesden, Willesden, Kensal Green and Wembley.

Stalled sites

·      A commitment to a proactive approach to addressing stalled sites across the wider Park Royal area, in particular the Twyford site and potentially the Ex Unisys buildings and Station House (Wembley Point).

Future liabilities
·      There should be no ongoing or legacy financial liabilities to the Council without agreement through the process.

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