OLPC will become a development corporation, as early end to Olympic Delivery Authority mooted
The organisation charged with delivering the 8,000-home regeneration of the Olympic park after 2012 is to be given a remit to cover a much wider area from the end of next year.
The news comes as it emerged this week that the body, the Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC), may take control of the Olympic park from the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) much earlier than previously expected.
A long-awaited consultation on turning the OPLC into a development corporation with powers to grant planning applications and raise an infrastructure levy on developers is expected next week.
East London sources said this week that the consultation will unexpectedly propose increasing the boundary of the body’s remit so that it encompasses about half of the Lower Lea Valley.
This means it will cover not just the Olympic park but also Westfield’s Stratford City development and surrounding Hackney Wick, and Bromley-by-Bow.
However, the London borough of Newham has been successful in persuading the Greater London Authority not to include Stratford’s existing town centre in the development corporation.
The corporation will be formed in April next year, and assume planning powers in the autumn.
The OPLC is also considering a bid from the ODA to take control of the £350m of transformational works on the park to prepare it for redevelopment immediately after the Games.
The move would see the ODA, which is on course successfully to build the Olympic venues ahead of time within the £9.3bn budget, finish works 18 months earlier than planned.
The ODA is thought to be keen to avoid having to keep an expensive construction team in place for the expected 18-month fallow period between completion of the venues and the start of the transformation works.
An ODA spokesperson said: “We are in discussion with the legacy owner, the Olympic Park Legacy Company, about ensuring a swift and cost-effective transformation of the venues and parklands so they can open to the public as quickly as possible after the Games.”