Saturday, 9 February 2019

Is the Old Oak Common project in jeopardy?

 The vision in 2016

The Evening Standard reported yesterday LINK that the biggest landowner of London's largest regeneration project at Old Oak Common, Cargiant, has axed the £5bn proposal to develop its site.

The Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation (OPDC) was set up by Boris Johnson when London Mayor and Brent Council leader Muhammed Butt is a member of the board. LINK

Tony Mendes, managing director of Cargiant said the project had been made unviable by the actions of the OPDC:
Old Oak Common is fast becoming known as Old Oak Cock-up. The area was supposed to hep meet the housing crisis in London with 25,000 new homes, but it is going to fail to deliver all but a fraction of that number, at an outrageously high cost to the public purse.
Mendes called for the OPDC bid for £250m government funding for infrastructure to be  'paused' while the Government investigates the £30m of government money already spent and the bid to be properly scrutinised by the London Assembly and MPs.

A commenter on the Evening Standard website  says:
This is a reaction from Cargiant to the Compulsory Purchase Order for their land that the OPDC wants to obtain. Under a CPO, Cargiant will receive just the value of the current undeveloped land, plus the standard sweetener, which means Cargiant makes much less money from the site. On the other hand, the OPDC wants to build at a super-high density of 600 homes per hectare. Cargiant probably thinks that is far too high to sell the homes on the open market. At that density, the danger is that they might be bought just as investments largely from abroad, often with no one living in them.

A spokesperson for current London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, expressed disappointment that Mendes was 'looking to frustrate the project' and said that the OPDC had made a business case to the Government  for Housing Infrastructure Funding that would 'unlock the scheme' with a decision to be made in due course.

We are bound to hear more on this and I hope Brent councillors will play their part in scrutinising the project as one of the interested parties.

No comments: