Land News

Gateway homes plan 'relies on improved transport'

The Guardian, 23rd August, 2004

The government's plans to build 120,000 new homes in the Thames Gateway by 2016 will not work without a series of new and improved transport facilities, an official report warned today.

A joint planning statement by the three regional bodies responsible for the Gateway, said that development will only be sustainable if public transport is significantly improved.

It said that multi-billion pound projects such as the a new Thames Gateway Bridge and Crossrail, a fast-train west to east link through London, would have to be completed for Gateway plans to succeed.

The statement, by the Greater London Authority, the East of England Regional Assembly and the South East Regional Assembly concluded that if the infrastructure is in place, 128,500 new homes could be developed by 2016 and 232,000 new jobs created.

But it also warned that there would have to be a "dramatic increase" in the rate of development to achieve this target. The number of homes completed homes each year would have to rise by 50% in London and 75% in north Kent, it pointed out.

The statement also called for a new marketing campaign to promote the Gateway as an attractive place to live that is environmentally friendly and well designed.

It said: "It will be a place with a clear identity, composed of sustainable urban communities that have been reinvigorated by strategies for regeneration and growth."

The planning minister, Keith Hill, welcomed the statement and said he and his colleagues were trying to persuade other departments to fund the necessary transport links and other facilities.

"We take the regions' central point about timely infrastructure provision very seriously, and we are working across government to help drive the agenda forward," said Mr Hill.

The statement also gave details of the number of homes that will be developed in the following locations by 2016:

  • Isle of Dogs 4,000
  • Deptford/Lewisham 5,000
  • Stratford/Leaside/Royals 20,000
  • Greenwich Peninsula 10,000
  • London Riverside 13,000
  • Woolwich/Thamesmead 7,000
  • Thurrock 13,500
  • Basildon 6,000
  • Castle Point 2,500
  • Southend/Rochford 4,500
  • Kent Thames-side 20,000
  • Medway/Grain 15,000
  • Sittingbourne/Sheerness 8,000
  • Total 128,500

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