OPDC appoints Gareth Blacker as executive director of delivery

OPDC has appointed Homes England’s Gareth Blacker, pictured, to a new senior role of executive director of delivery.

The Mayor of London’s development corporation, OPDC, has appointed Homes England’s Gareth Blacker to a new senior role of executive director of delivery. This comes as OPDC gears up its regeneration plans in the Old Oak and Park Royal Opportunity Area.

In the new post, Blacker will be responsible for leading OPDC’s growing delivery role to bring forward 25,000 new and affordable homes and 56,000 new jobs in West London, set out in its recently adopted Local Plan.

Key to this will be working with government to unlock and coordinate London’s largest brownfield development opportunity, Old Oak West, into a new, inclusive urban district, with HS2’s Old Oak Common Station at its heart.  

Blacker joins OPDC from Homes England, where he was director of strategic development & infrastructure, working across major UK regeneration schemes including Bristol Temple Meads and Silvertown Quays.

A chartered surveyor with over 25 years’ experience, previously working for English Partnerships and the London Development Agency, Blacker has led major development projects including the 2012 Olympics land assembly and legacy masterplan, Wembley Park, and London’s Royal Docks. 

He has also secured significant infrastructure funding transactions including Wood Wharf, Greenwich Peninsula, and most recently Barking Riverside, Silvertown Quays and Brent Cross, all major housing led mixed-use development schemes.

The appointment comes as part of a wider move to grow OPDC’s delivery capabilities, following the adoption of its Local Plan in June 2022 and the £50m award from the Mayor’s Land Fund, with new roles across project management; delivery; sustainability and infrastructure. 

David Lunts, chief executive of OPDC, said: “I’m delighted at Gareth’s appointment, which comes just as we ramp up our focus from planning to delivery. 

“Gareth’s expertise in delivering complex major regeneration projects is unique and will be crucial in delivering our vision for a new urban district that captures the vast benefits of HS2 and the Elizabeth Line at Old Oak, with new and affordable homes and tens of thousands of jobs.”

Looking forward to his new role, Blacker said: “Old Oak and Park Royal is currently London’s most significant major regeneration project and I’m delighted to have the opportunity to be leading the team that will deliver it. 

“Having worked closely with OPDC during my time at Homes England, I am excited to deliver the Mayor of London’s vision for Old Oak, in partnership with national and local government, to realise the transformational change we know is possible.”

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