Today marks a significant deadline for the 2012 Olympics legacy project. It is the last day for public responses to the Mayor of London’s plans to create a Mayoral Development Corporation to oversee the project from 1 April next year.
The public consultation document, which can be viewed here, contains a series of aspirations and commitments for what Boris terms “London’s single most important regeneration project for the next 25 years”. Below is a precis of the most significant.
Firstly, the Olympic Park Legacy Corporation as it will be known (confusingly another OPLC to write about) will have powers over a much wider area than the current Olympic Park Legacy Company. The sites include some of the other real development gems in the area, such as Inter Ikea’s Three Mills site, but also some of the most difficult sites, such as the Carpenters Estate.
Here is the full list: The core Olympic Park, comprising land owned by OPLC and the Lee Valley Regional Park Authority, including Eton Manor; The Olympic Village and associated development sites owned by the Olympic Delivery Authority and London & Continental Railways Ltd; the Stratford City development site, including the Westfield Shopping Centre and Chobham Farm; Hackney Wick and Fish Island; Bromley-by-Bow North (with a southern boundary at the District Line); Pudding Mill Lane and Sugarhouse Lane; Three Mills and Mill Meads; Carpenters Estate.
The Corporation will become the planning authority for this area for both plan-making and development control, and for setting and collecting the Community Infrastructure Levy.
The Corporation will also assume the power permitted by the Localism Bill to grant discretionary relief from non-domestic rates.
The key question of who will run the Corporation is answered by the proposal that it will be the current OPLC because the Mayor is more than pleased with what it has been doing.
The Mayor proposes to appoint “those persons who are members of the Board of OPLC at the point that the Corporation is created as the Board of the Corporation”.
It is clear that Boris wants to take complete ownership of this project because he sees it as the defining test of his tenure as mayor. The following objective in particular emphasises this and will be open to much scrutiny in the coming years:
“[The project will aim to] provide high-quality attractive housing that meets the needs and aspirations of a wide range of people; to promote economic development and job creation which benefits local communities and London as a whole; to ensure a viable future for the permanent venues and parkland created for the Games, and to make them accessible to all Londoners; to promote sport and physical activity; to exploit and further strengthen transport connections to the rest of London, UK and Europe, and within the area itself; and to ensure that investment in social, physical and environmental infrastructure is properly managed and meets the long term needs of the area.”