A new chair of the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation (OPDC) is expected to be announced in the next two weeks, with the masterplan for the High Speed 2/Crossrail super-hub interchange to be completed by the end of the year.
Addressing the London Assembly yesterday, London Mayor chief of staff David Bellamy said that a new chair for the corporation would be named in two weeks’ time.
“We also have a priority of refreshing the OPDC board,” said Bellamy. “We completed the recruitment exercise for the chair and the Mayor anticipates consulting with the Assembly in roughly a fortnight.”
Much is resting on the appointment of the chair including the development of the masterplan for the area. Announcement of the design partner for the masterplan has been delayed pending the decision on a new chair.
This delay may have a knock on effect on efforts to capitalise on the development opportunity around the new High Speed 2’s (HS2) – Crossrail transport hub. To make best use of the space, building a deck over the top of the Crossrail depot has been mooted, although this would affect the HS2 station design.
The timetable for building a deck may clash with HS2 Ltd’s timetable to build its station as it prepares to announce the station package for the hub in April.
OPDC chief executive Victoria Hills moved to quell fears by saying that the deadlines for the masterplan would be met and that it will be published by the end of the year.
“I don’t want to come across as being flippant,” said Hills. “Of course there is urgency because in our masterplan we need to be clear what the future strategy is and which bits are going and which bits are staying.
“The appointment of the chair will be in March/April and I can assure you that this is on the top 10 list of urgent jobs that they will need to talk to Transport for London about.
“The masterplan will be finished by the end of the year in an early stage. We have to be clear by the end of the year if not before.”