The London Legacy Development Corporation will become smaller as planning powers are handed back to East London boroughs. 

The chief executive and chair of the London Legacy Development Corporation will step down as the organisation prepares to downsize almost 20 years after London was awarded the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games.

Garner and Hendy

Source: LLDC

Lyn Garner, chief executive of the LLDC and chair, Lord Peter Hendy will leave the development corporation later in the year, once their successors have been appointed

Later this year, Lyn Garner will leave her position as chief executive of London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) after more than six years in the role and the body’s chair, Lord Peter Hendy, will depart after eight years.

The LLDC is currently recruiting for a new chief executive and chair, but Garner and Hendy will remain in post until their successors have been appointed and started work. Garner said they expect to leave the organisation towards the end of this year or early next year.

Garner has held various leadership positions in housing, regeneration and finance over the past 35 years. She was assistant director of housing and regeneration at Hammersmith and Fulham council for over eight years, before working as executive director of development at the GLA for a year.

Garner then took on the position of strategic director of planning, regeneration and development at London Borough of Haringey, where she worked for over six and a half years, before joining the LLDC in 2018.

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In 2022, she was appointed senior professional lead for housing by the mayor of London, a position that was established based on a recommendation in the late Lord Bob Kerslake’s review of GLA group housing delivery.

In this role, she provides strategic oversight over the delivery of housing on land owned by the GLA group which includes Transport for London and the London Fire Brigade.

Hendy took up his role as chair of LLDC in 2017. He has almost 50 years’ experience of working in the transport and infrastructure sector in London. He is chair of Network Rail, a position which he has held since 2015.

He was previously commissioner of Transport for London for nine and a half years, which included managing transport during the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

By the end of this year, LLDC will return its town planning powers to the boroughs around the park – Tower Hamlets, Hackney, Newham and Waltham Forest. After this, the LLDC has said that the organisation will become smaller “but no less dynamic and ambitious in its objectives”.

Since the London Legacy Development Corporation was formed in 2012, it has overseen the development of approximately 1,200 homes on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park land, 37% of which are classed as affordable. By 2036, around 6,000 homes will be delivered in the park.

In the original plans, between 8,500 and 9,000 homes were to be delivered on LLDC land in the Olympic park.

However, there was a discussion between the GLA and the mayor of Hackney at the time, Jules Pipe, about whether the land where the Olympic media centre was built should become an innovation district or be turned into housing, as previously proposed.

It was decided that the land would become an innovation district, which is where HereEast, the innovation and technology campus is based.

In the wider area, 12,000 homes have been delivered and by 2036, a further 33,000 homes will be built, almost 35% of which will be designated as affordable homes. 

Garner said that there are still around 4,800 homes to build on LLDC-owned land in the park.

The LLDC has received criticism for not delivering on the 50% affordable homes pledge that Ken Livingstone made when he championed the bid to host the Olympics as London mayor.

Garner said “we came in for criticism around affordable housing, we still do, and the issue with affordable housing is that in the end governments do need to put money into schemes in order to produce affordable housing”.

In addition, she explained that LLDC developments work to mayoral policy on affordable housing and that the body has faced several changes of mayor while delivering schemes.

Garner said: “We’ve always delivered our housing in line with mayoral policy which started off at around 30% and is now 50%, which we are currently delivering for the mayor of London [Sadiq Khan]”.

On her departure, Garner said: “After nearly seven brilliant years, it will be the right time to hand over the reins as the organisation evolves”.

She added: “We have transformed Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park into a thriving new part of the city, working and delivering with the talented and diverse communities around us. We have delivered thousands of homes, two new business districts and brought thousands of jobs to the area.

“On a personal basis, it has been a tremendous pleasure and privilege to have worked alongside such dedicated colleagues, and globally significant partners, in the construction and development of East Bank – the impact of which will be felt by east Londoners for decades to come.”

Hendy said: “We are proud to have delivered the greatest Olympic and Paralympic legacy. We have regeneration projects and major event organisers from around the world coming to the park to see how we have delivered a lasting legacy in partnership with local people. There is still much to do, however, to ensure that we build on the progress to date, to deliver against our strategic objectives. I am confident that those remaining, along with the new leadership, will inherit a strong platform from which to build and further develop excellence.”