In October 2015, the mayor of London unveiled his office’s development plan for several neighbourhoods in East London and to the south of the River Thames. This initiative is part of the London Plan, an ambitious project that was initially presented to the general public in 2004. The main objective behind the new City in the East plan is to promote the socio-economic development of designated Opportunity Areas within the British capital.
Below is a detailed description of the plan and the benefits that it will bring to local residents once completed.
City in the East: An Overview
The City in the East Plan is a collaborative project that will bring together the Greater London Authority, local borough councils, Transport for London, and a number of stakeholders from both the public and private sectors. The plan aims to consolidate and build on previous urban development projects, such as Thames Gateway.
City in the East will focus on the creation of employment and on the development of quality housing by capitalising on the large amounts of brownfield land available in this part of the city, and by transforming it into mixed-use developments. Overall, it is expected that the implementation of this plan will benefit approximately 600,000 Londoners and will result in the creation of 280,000 jobs and 200,000 homes. At the same time, the City in the East plan will help prepare the UK’s capital city infrastructure for future demographic growth, as it is expected that London’s population will increase by nearly 2.5 million by 2050.
Opportunity Areas and Housing Zones
The City in the East plan will affect a total of 27 Opportunity Areas and Housing Zones.
The largest area is Olympic Legacy, where 32,000 new housing units and 50,000 jobs are to be created. This Opportunity Area covers Olympic Park, the northern and southern Olympic Fringes, Hackney Wick, Fish Island, and Stratford. Approximately 1.3 million square metres of commercial space will also be built in this Opportunity Area.
London Riverside will be home to second largest number of housing projects and jobs, estimated at 26,500 and 16,000 respectively. London Riverside encompasses the smaller areas of Barking Town Centre, Barking Riverside, Barking Power Station, Thames Road, Castle Green, Creekmouth, Sustainable Industries Park (Dagenham), and a few sites along the A1306, such as Beam Park and Rainham. The proposed development plan for London Riverside includes the creation of an additional 65,500 square metres of commercial space.
In Bexley Riverside, 21,500 homes and 8,500 jobs will be created as part of the City in the East Plan. These will be developed in Crayford, Belvedere, Slade Green, Erith, Abbey Wood, and Thamesmead.
Upper Lee Valley will see the development of 20,100 homes and the creation of 15,000 jobs along the A10 – A1010 corridor, mainly in Northumberland Park and High Rd. West. There are also dedicated masterplans for the development of areas like Ponders End, Tottenham Hale, Meridian Water, and Blackhorse Lane.
Lastly, the City in the East Plan will bring 15,000 homes and 40,000 jobs to the Royal Docks area, which includes Silvertown Quays, Albert Island, Thameside West, and Beckton Riverside.
Other projects that are part of City in the East include the development of TV and film studios at the Purfleet Urban Regeneration Hub, the creation of the London Paramount entertainment resort near Ebbsfleet, the extension of c2c rail services to Beam Park, and the development of 400 homes at Thames Enterprise Park. The plan also comprises several infrastructure improvement projects, such as the creation of new river crossings, road links, and junction improvements along the A2016 road.
In addition, a number of Development Infrastructure Funding studies are underway in order to assess the feasibility of other projects, such as the upgrade of the sewage plant in Deephams, the redevelopment and expansion of Edmonton’s Eco Park, and an improved utilities provision plan in the Upper Lee Valley and London Riverside Opportunity Areas.
Overall, it is expected that the implementation of the City in the East plan will help radically transform and revitalise East London communities while making this part of London more liveable and prosperous.
Further information on business space opportunities in East London.
Additional reading: City in the West – London Plan