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Old Oak Common chair: CEO must deliver

Old Oak Common: Interchange means many will not need to travel all the way to Euston

The new chief executive for the Old Oak & Park Royal Development Corporation (OPDC) must have a “focus on delivery” according to the organisation’s chair.

Speaking exclusively to New Civil Engineer, OPDC chair Liz Peace said the organisation had now moved on from the organisational set up phase and that the new chief executive should have a focus on delivering results.

The position was held by Victoria Hills who left in April this year to join the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI). In the interim, former OPDC planning director Mick Mulhern is acting chief executive.

“We have moved on, Victoria prides herself and I have commended her publicly with setting up the organisation and I think she’s done a fantastic job doing that, but we’ve now moved on from that,” said Peace. “We now don’t now need someone who is an expert in how to set things up within a public body, we need someone who is very much focused on delivery.

“We’ve moved on from what we’ve been talking about over the last three years.”

Peace said she hoped to have an appointment made by the end of June, to potentially start at the end of September to the beginning of October, depending on notice periods.

Peace admitted the organisation had been “relatively slow” to start the process, but said this was because Mulhern had “swept neatly into the role without any joints showing” and it was taking its time to “get it right”.

Peace said she hoped Mulhern would apply for the role, but gave assurances that the process would be open and fair.

She added that she was open minded about the prospective candidate’s background saying she had already spoken to people from local authorities, large infrastructure projects and private sector companies.

“I’ve got a very open mind to private and public but it’s someone who understands that over the next three to five years, it’s crunch time in churning out the redevelopment and the regeneration needed,” she said.

“We want someone with experience of delivery, someone who knows how to lead a team and is good with communication skills, someone who gets on with the chairman of the board the Greater London Authority and politicians.

“I think it’s a fabulous opportunity for someone out there.”

The Old Oak and Park Royal site is one of the UKs largest development sites and there are plans to build 25,000 new homes there. It will also be one of the most connected areas in the country with 13 railway lines converging there including High Speed 2 and Crossrail.

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