James Murray, the Deputy Mayor of London and Liz Peace CBE, the Chairman of the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation (OPDC) started construction on the first homes at Old Oak – on what will become the largest regeneration project in the UK, providing 25,500 homes and 65,000 jobs.
The two joined QPR and Genesis Housing Association in demolishing a derelict hostel that will make way for a new West London neighbourhood consisting of 605 new homes, including a high proportion (40%) of affordable homes. They are the first homes that will be built at Old Oak and Park Royal and will start the transformation of the area. With the first residents expected to move in from early 2020, Genesis and QPR will create a place to be proud of and make a major contribution to delivering the OPDC’s overarching vision for the area.
Old Oak, the location of the new Crossrail/HS2 superhub, is set to become one of the best-connected places in London, just 10 minutes from London’s West End, 8 minutes from Heathrow and 38 minutes from Birmingham.
Speaking at the event to mark this important milestone, James Murray, Deputy Mayor of London for Housing and Residential Development, said: “The regeneration of Old Oak and the surrounding area represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to deliver thousands of genuinely affordable homes for Londoners.
“I am delighted that work has commenced on this important scheme and pleased that we have been able to work so closely with QPR and Genesis Housing Association to increase the proportion of affordable homes.”
Liz Peace CBE, Chairman of the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation, said:
“Today’s ground-breaking marks the start of early-delivery of hundreds of affordable homes for Londoners and the community in west London. I am delighted to kick-start the wider regeneration of Old Oak and Park Royal in line with Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan’s priorities. This first major scheme granted consent by OPDC and the Mayor paves the way to creating a place where people will want to live, work, spend their leisure time and bring up their families.”
Designed by CZWG Architects, the £175 million Oaklands scheme is being developed by QPR and Genesis Housing Association. The scheme will also provide the start of an important new link road from Old Oak Common Lane into the wider regeneration area, enabling neighbouring sites to be developed, including other sites that Genesis and QPR hope to bring forward.
Dipesh J. Shah OBE, Chair of Genesis Housing Association, will say, “the Oaklands development is very important to Genesis. We are committed to providing homes for people who need it at price points that are accessible. The Oaklands community will have a mix of housing products within it, including social rent, affordable rent, shared ownership, and market rent. Through this mix we believe we will create a sustainable and thriving community.”
Tony Fernandes, Chairman of QPR FC, explained why the football club is involved in the regeneration partnership. He will say, “We are delighted to be working with Genesis to develop the Oaklands site. The fact that we are creating 600 homes for Londoners, including many affordable homes, ten years in advance of HS2 shows that there is plenty that can be achieved at Old Oak well before the new high speed line is finished.
“We own other sites in Old Oak and want to bring them forward as quickly as possible to create the homes and affordable homes that London desperately needs. I know the Mayor and the Government both share this aim, and have made funding available to pay for infrastructure that would lead to additional early housing development. A bridge from Willesden Junction to the north of Old Oak is exactly the kind of infrastructure that could do this, and we want to work closely with them to make it happen.
“All this development will help to alleviate London’s housing crisis, as well help us achieve our ultimate goal, which is to secure the future of QPR in West London through the construction of a new stadium with sporting, community and educational facilities that are used all year round.”