Landowners Cargiant have pulled out of the huge Old Oak Park regeneration scheme saying that the Old Oak & Park Royal Development Corporation (OPDC) have made it unviable by refusing to fund infrastructure and by way of its restrictive planning policies.
The £5bn flagship regeneration project was expected to provide 6,500 homes on 46 acres at Willedsen Junction, by the site of the upcoming HS2 station.
Cargiant Managing Director Tony Mendes is reported as saying: “Old Oak Common is fast becoming known as Old Oak cock-up. The area was supposed to help 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.” He has said that the way public money has been spent on the project should be examined.
This is a somewhat unconventional situation in that motor dealers Cargiant became ‘reluctant developers’ when their land was designated a regeneration area. This prompted them to try to obtain planning consent for a scheme which would facilitate their relocation, rather than a development as such. It does however illustrate just some of the complex issues that providing housing on any large scale in London involves.