OPDC secrecy on Housing Infrastructure Funding

Our previous post on governance of the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation set out the content of correspondence between this Forum and the Corporation, in the period up to August 2019.

Since then there have been further developments. The OPDC Draft Local Plan has continued to be ‘examined’ for ‘soundness’ by Planning Inspector Paul Clark.

An interim report from the Inspector in September required the removal from the Draft Plan of the Cargiant land at Old Oak North. Cargiant wish to remain on their present site, and the Inspector judged OPDC proposal for compulsory purchase of their land as unviable and inappropriate in planning terms.

OPDC now has to make substantial revisions to its Draft Local Plan. These changes are due to be consulted on early in 2020. Final adoption of the Local Plan appears still to be many months away.

In the meantime both the Old Oak Neighbourhood Forum and the StQW Forum have been trying to obtain copies of the OPDC ‘Expression of Interest’ for £250m of Housing Infrastructure Funding (HIF). We would like to know how this funding is intended to be used by the OPDC ‘delivery arm’.

We would also like to see the conditions that the Government attached to the provisional award of this funding, in March 2019. OPDC and GLA have turned down FoI requests to release both the HIF bid and the conditions, and these refusal decisions have now been referred to the Information Commissioner (see at http://oldoakneighbourhoodforum.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/StQW-and-OONF-to-ICO-30.11.19.pdf)

The London Assembly Budget and Performance Committee is now taking a closer interest in the activities and expenditure of the Corporation and we hope that forthcoming meetings on GLA budgets will lead to a fuller airing of the risks and challenges faced by OPDC.

The most recent correspondence on governance issues, between the StQW Forum and OPDC (David Lunts, Interim Chief Executive) is posted below

Letter from StQW to OPDC David Lunts on the lack of officer reports or discussion of critical issues at the OPDC Board meeting held on September 26th 2019 (which had been immediately preceded by a ‘private’ session before the public were admitted to the room).

Email response from David Lunts to Henry Peterson 09.12.19

Email response from Henry Peterson to David Lunts 10.12. 2019