Hammersmith and Fulham opposed to ceding Old Oak Common planning powers to mayor of London

Out-Law News | 03 Jul 2014 | 4:16 pm | 1 min. read

Hammersmith and Fulham Council has expressed its opposition to mayor of London Boris Johnson's plans to assume planning powers in the Old Oak Common and Park Royal areas of west London.

The mayor launched a consultation on 18 June into proposals to establish a mayoral development corporation (MDC) for the two neighbourhoods, which are earmarked for extensive regeneration in the London Plan.

Johnson described the proposed powers of the corporation in his foreword to the consultation report (38-page / 519 KB PDF). "The corporation would become the new local planning authority for this area and would take on powers relating to infrastructure, regeneration, land acquisitions including compulsory purchase orders, adopting streets, business and financial assistance", said the mayor.

"The corporation would take over planning powers from the London boroughs of Brent, Ealing and Hammersmith and Fulham", said Johnson. "The corporation would lead on preparing the local plans and determining large planning applications in this area."

The Council issued a statement on 2 July, confirming that it was opposed to the mayor's proposals, describing the proposed transfer of planning powers to an MDC as "a land-grab" and raising concerns that foreign investors would benefit more than local people.

Leader of the Council, councillor Stephen Cowan, said: "This council objects to an MDC at Old Oak and Park Royal. We are concerned about the mayor of London’s record on delivering truly affordable homes for Londoners and do not believe he should be entrusted with sole responsibility on a scheme of this importance."

“We are committed to changing housing policies so that we build homes for residents rather than investment properties for overseas speculators and look forward to working with Ealing and Brent councils to do that", continued Cowan. "There is no good business case for the mayor to step in."

"The mayor’s proposed organisation is a throwback to decades long gone, it would be un-democratic and unnecessarily takes away powers from local residents and local businesses and essentially hands them over to developers and un-elected bureaucrats", said Cowan.

The mayor intends for the MDC to be established by 1 April 2015, subject to approval by the London Assembly and the secretary of state for communities and local government.

The consultation is open until 24 September.