BY JAMES TWOMEY
A new town is set to spring up on the banks of the Thames as the ink dries on an £8bn deal between a property developer and a housing association.
The Thamesmead Waterfront regeneration project, taking place on an empty green space west of Thamesmead town centre, will bring 11,500 new homes to the area.
Housing association, Peabody, and international property developer, Lendlease, have formed a joint venture partnership to deliver the £8bn development.
Much of the site is currently undeveloped and underpopulated. It includes 2.5km of river frontage, as well as an abundance of green space and two lakes.
The joint venture has said that plans for a new cross-river extension of the Docklands Light Railway to Thamesmead is critical in unlocking the full ambition of the scheme, which is the largest development in Peabody’s 157-year history.
The venture has promised to work with the community on a project that will revitalise the existing Thamesmead town centre, creating new cultural, community and commercial spaces.
Peabody chief executive, Brendan Sarsfield, said: “Thamesmead Waterfront represents an historic opportunity to transform an isolated and underutilised riverside location in London.
“A new DLR crossing from east London would allow this long-term partnership to create a new waterfront district with thousands of new affordable homes and a new leisure, cultural and commercial offer for the town, for London, and for the wider Thames Estuary.
“This would unlock huge benefits for existing and new communities, boosting the economy and providing huge opportunities for London and the UK.
“The Waterfront, alongside Peabody’s regeneration of the wider area, can help Thamesmead become a sustainable new town – offering all of the benefits of urban living, with unparalleled access to green open spaces by the Thames.”
Lendlease chief executive Neil Martin said: “The breadth of opportunity and economic potential that this scheme offers Thamesmead and London is enormous.
“Thousands of new homes and jobs can be created, but key to its successful delivery is improving connections for existing and current residents and businesses.
“Doing so would open up this area of London to new audiences and improve the opportunities for those already living there.
“Improving transport links is a vital part of the long-term regeneration of the area, as it will bring those new homes within reach of the heart of London and help us deliver one of the most exciting new places to live in the capital.