In a sudden and unexpected turn of events, a press release from the OPDC On December 13th announced that the Corporation was halting its plans to assemble land at Old Oak North.
This brings to an end the legal tussle between the OPDC and Cargiant Ltd. In early 2019 Cargiant changed its position and decided to remain on its existing 44 acre site (see previous posts). The OPDC chose to progress its ‘masterplan’ for Old Oak North, using its powers of compulsory purchase to acquire tracts of Cargiant land.
See for more information at OPDC and Cargiant press statements Dec 2019
The OPDC Board has not met since September 26th 2019 and is not meeting again until January 30th 2020 (a four month gap). So there has been no report or Board discussion that explains the consequences of this major change of direction by the Corporation.
Abandoning what was to have been ‘Phase 1’ of new development at Old Oak raises many questions. What alternative sites are now being explored? How much public money has been spent in pursuing plans for Old Oak North which attracted objections from the start, to the proposed excessive densities and building heights?
OONF and the St Quintin and Woodlands Neighbourhood Forum has sent OPDC a list of questions StQW and OONF questions on OPDC new focus. We hope to have answers before the next OONF and GUA meeting on January 7th.
Either way, we will be ensuring that members of the London Assembly Budget and Performance Committee see a copy of our questions before they meet in early January to scrutinise the OPDC Budget submission Dec 2020
The efforts of local neighbourhood forums to gain access to information on OPDC decisions are beginning to bear fruit. The London Assembly Budget and Performance Committee formally ‘summonsed’ certain documents from OPDC Chair Liz Peace and Interim Chief Executive David Lunts in September 2019. Committee Chair Gareth Bacon MP AM has now written to Liz Peace, asking for this material to be published London Assembly -OPDC -Letter to Liz Peace
These are the same documents, relating to the Corporation’s 2018 bid for Housing Infrastructure Funding, that OONF and the StQW Neighbourhood Forum have been asking for as Freedom of Information requests, over the past 9 months.
These requests were refused by OPDC as being ‘manifestly unreasonable’. We look forward to the early publication of these documents, so that we can tell the Information Commissioner to drop our complaint over the OPDC’s failure to disclose them previously.