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Old Oak development corporation chief resigns

Aj100 128
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Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation (OPDC) is seeking a new chief executive after incumbent Victoria Hills announced her surprise departure 

Hills who joined the OPDC – a mayoral development corporation – in 2015, has been appointed chief executive of the Royal Town Planning Institute, where she will start work in April.

The search has begun for a replacement to oversee the £26 billion project in north-west London, which is set to deliver 25,000 homes near to a transport hub with links to Crossrail, HS2 and the Underground network.

old oak common Viaduct

old oak common Viaduct

Speaking at an AJ100 event in September 2016, Hills said the regeneration project would provide an ‘enormous opportunity to do something special’, by changing the geography of west London, and improving transport links to Birmingham and the ‘Northern Powerhouse’.

But she did question whether the government was being ambitious enough for the massive scheme.

Reacting to the news, OPDC chairwoman Liz Peace said: ‘Victoria has been a key figure in setting up the OPDC and leading it through its challenging early years. She has done a great job in managing the multiple relationships with the board and key stakeholders, and has played a clear role in enhancing the impact and profile of the of Old Oak and Park Royal Opportunity Area.’

A spokesperson for the development corporation said that an interim chief executive would be announced ’in due course’, along with the timetable for recruiting a permanent successor.

In 2016, Terry Farrell said that the scheme was in danger of becoming London’s ’worst cock-up in 50 years’ due to a lack of co-ordination with engineers working on Crossrail.

However, the ODPC today said that almost 11,000 homes on the site were in the planning system. 

Construction on the first 600 homes, designed by CZWG, got under way in September last year.

Hills said: ‘It has been my great privilege to have had the opportunity to establish a new Mayoral Development Corporation and to lead an enthusiastic and skilled team with whom I have been able to create a vision and framework for delivering this enormously complex project.

‘I shall be watching the development of Old Oak and Park Royal with interest and huge affection and I wish the team and my successor well in their future endeavours.’

Old oak map

Old oak map

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