New Mayoral Development Corporation told current plans will fail to be beacon for sustainability

The mayor of London’s new development corporation needs to overhaul plans to make housing in the Olympic park sustainable if the legacy project is to meet the green standards set by the construction phase, members of the London Assembly have said.

Last week, the creation of the Mayoral Development Corporation (MDC) was given approval by the assembly. From the end of March it will have powers over planning in the Olympic park, taking over the role from the Olympic Park Legacy Company.

Darren Johnson, leader of the Green Party group at the London Assembly, told Building: “All we are seeing [in the plans] is meeting sustainable Building Regulations, we are not seeing something that is a real beacon of sustainability such as a zero carbon development. I hope the MDC will see a real focus on sustainability standards for the housing legacy.”

Murad Qureshi, Labour member and chair of the London Assembly’s Environment Committee, said: “We think that the Olympic park should be, as promised, a blueprint for sustainable living and therefore that the homes on it should be built to higher sustainability standards than the minimum legal requirements for all homes.”

The criticisms follow similar concerns over the legacy plans raised by the four host boroughs adjoining the Olympic park - Newham, Tower Hamlets, Hackney and Waltham Forest, revealed by Building earlier this month.

In a joint letter to the Olympic Delivery Authority’s (ODA) planning decisions team, the boroughs said: “Delivering exemplar standards of design and sustainability
should be one of the drivers for the scheme.”

In its submission to the ODA’s planning decisions team, Hackney said there was little ambition in the plans, which it said were overly based on car use: “A lot of private sector-led schemes in Hackney exceed Code for Sustainable Homes level 5, yet it is not considered possible here as part of the legacy from the ‘greenest Games ever’.”