Architects' Journal: "Old Oak Common regeneration is a train crash and City Hall is to blame"

"You cannot make great pieces of city simply by setting housing targets," writes Paul Finch

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"The biggest housing and jobs initiative in the country, being overseen by the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation (OPDC), will have to be massively scaled back following devastating findings by the planning inspector in respect of its draft local plan.

"In a nutshell, the inspector has upheld the views of the biggest landowner affected, Cargiant, that the proposed plan is a dead duck. He found that, instead of delivering 25,000 homes and 65,000 jobs, the development corporation should scale this back to 14,200 and 37,590 respectively – because plans to develop Cargiant's land are 'unviable and ought to be deleted from the plan'.

"This all took me back to the summer of 2015, when I started chairing a small design panel for Cargiant and London & Regional Properties. The joint venture planned to redevelop Cargiant's site (at Old Oak Park, where it employs some 800 people, mostly engineers working to bring used cars up to scratch prior to resale)."


Brent & Kilburn Times: "OPDC hit back after Cargiant slam 'flawed plan' for regeneration"

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"On one side, the world's biggest used car dealership. On the other, plans for the biggest development in London since the 2012 Olympics.

"Emboldened by a planning inspector's ruling this month that the Old Oak Park Development Corporation (OPDC) 'should delete' tracts of land used by Cargiant for its used car operation south of Willesden Junction, the business has gone further and argued the OPDC's entire business plan is 'seriously flawed'.

"But the OPDC has hit back, claiming more than 7,000 homes 'have been or are soon to be delivered' and saying its plans are on track."


Brent & Kilburn Times: "[Most] Cargiant-owned land should be removed from project, planning inspector says"

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"The flagship Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation should not include a controversial tract of land owned by Cargiant, a planning inspector has recommended.

"Reviewing the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation's (OPDC) draft local plan, Paul Clark decided that inclusion of [most of the] land owned by Cargiant south of WIllesden Junction station was 'unviable' and that, if developed, it couldn't yield enough profit to pay for moving the business elsewhere, even if no affordable homes or subsidised infrastructure were built there."

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