Mayor mulls Olympic legacy area expansion

THE Olympic Legacy area is set to be expanded and its future placed into the hands of an all-powerful development corporation, under plans unveiled by Boris Johnson.

The Mayor is consulting on the proposals, which would see a so-called mayoral development corporation replace the Olympic Park Legacy Company.

The body — provisionally named the Olympic Park Legacy Corporation — would also take over responsibilities of other regeneration agencies, such as the London Thames Gateway Development Corporation, whose chairman has already backed the plans.

The new corporation would cover a wider area than the existing Legacy Company, taking in the Olympic Park and Village, Westfield’s Stratford City site, Sugar House Lane, Three Mills Island and the Carpenters Estate, as well as parts of Hackney Wick and Bow.

Planning chiefs say the enlarged area has the potential to deliver more than 15,000 homes and 10,000 jobs.

The corporation would act as the planning authority for the site, taking over responsibilities from the Legacy Company and local authorities.

It would be responsible for determining planning applications, negotiating “planning gain” — or Section 106 — agreements and collecting any community infrastructure levies, such as the proposed “Crossrail tax” on new developments.

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Launching the proposals, Mr Johnson said: “The Olympic Park and surrounding area is London’s single most important regeneration project over the next 25 years, and it is right and proper that the body responsible for its future should be accountable to Londoners.

“The Olympic Park Legacy Company has already built up a great head of steam in planning for the future success of the park, and in finding partners who want to invest in that success.

“Enhancing the legacy company’s powers in this way will help us make the most of that early momentum and realise the fantastic potential of the Games.”

The consultation runs until early April, and the new body would take over most of its responsibilities in April next year.