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)."

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