The London Assembly’s Budget and Performance Committee held a session in June 11th at which OPDC Board Chair Liz Peace and Interim Chief Executive David Lunts were questioned on the work of the Corporation to date and its future plans.
The session can be viewed online at this link . Some important information emerged in the answers given to the committee.
Liz Peace explained that the proposed new Overground station at Hythe Road is ‘absolutely off the agenda’ and that the second station at Old Oak Common Lane/Victoria Road is still a possibility but with its probability ‘very slight’.
The £250m of Housing Infrastructure Funding awarded to OPDC by Government in March 2019 ‘is not in the bank’ and remains subject to many conditions. The most important of these is adoption of the OPDC Local Plan. The Inspector has yet to conclude public hearings (last one scheduled for July 18th) and adoption of the Plan is not expected before early 2020. This is three years later than was forecast in the 2015 Old Oak and Park Royal Opportunity Area Planning Framework.
OPDC has for the time being stalled its efforts to recruit a permanent new chief executive officer. David Lunts will continue in this post as a part time interim.
None of this information has been announced by OPDC in press releases or public reports to the OPDC Board. The implications of the Overground Stations not being built are significant. Local Plan maps showing levels of public transport accessibility (PTAL) across the OPDC area are no longer accurate. Proposed housing densities at Old Oak North are even more extreme and even less justifiable.
Cargiant responded to the June 11th committee session by sending a letter to Assembly members pointing out serious inaccuracies in several of the statements made by OPDC. This Cargiant letter can be downloaded here Letter.19.06.14.LondonAssembley.BPcomm (002)
The Assembly’s Plenary session on July 4th will include a further Q and A session between all Assembly members and Liz Peace and David Lunts. This session at City Hall is open to the public and starts at 10.00 am.
The Forum has put together and circulated a briefing note for Assembly Members. This gives the background to the Forum’s experiences over the past 3 years. The note focuses on OPDC’s efforts at consultation and ‘community engagement’ and why many local residents have found these to be inadequate and unsatisfactory. A copy of the note can be downloaded here Note for London Assembly members from OONF.June 2019 V3
We wait to see what further information will result from this Plenary session of the London Assembly. It is clear that there are growing questions about the way in which OPDC has approached its remit from the Mayor, and its preparation of a Draft Local Plan. The list of ‘challenges’ facing the Corporation increases by the day.