Thames Gateway

Thames Gateway

The Thames Gateway is an area of land stretching 40 miles (60 km) east from inner East London on both sides of the River Thames and the Thames Estuary. The area, which includes much brownfield land, has been designated a national priority for urban regeneration, taking advantage of the development opportunities realised by the completion of the High Speed 1 rail line. [Vigar, M., "The Politics of Mobility", (2002)] It stretches from Westferry in Tower Hamlets to the Isle of Sheppey and extends across three of the regions of England. The development is delivered through regional development agencies, special purpose development corporations and local partnerships.


The Thames Gateway comprises sections of 16 different local government districts in three regions:


Significant concerns have been raisedWho|date=February 2008 because the Thames Gateway project proposes removing parts of and building on the North Kent Marshes, which are recognised as an Environmentally Sensitive Area by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and are largely covered by Sites of Special Scientific Interest. There are also fears of increased erosion.Fact|date=February 2008 In 1987 the World Commission on Environment and Development defined Sustainable Development as 'development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs'. OpponentsWho|date=February 2008 of development have argued that promoting the ecological significance of the area by increasing public accessibility to threatened marshes and wetlands, with improved transport corridors, will cause further erosion.Fact|date=February 2008

Proposals for a large international airport on Cliffe Marshes were dropped from the government's white paper on air transport in 2003 after they were rejected by local residents, the local council, as well as conservation charities such as the RSPB. The plan, which would have required the raising the ground level by 15 m.Fact|date=February 2008 was also rejected by the Confederation of British Industry as too expensive. [ [,,860552,00.html Tumbs down to Kent airport - Guardian] ] However there is a judicial review underway looking at other options for airport expansion including the possibility of a floating airport off the Isle of Sheppey. [ [ New airport threat for north Kent BBC News] ]

The north of Kent has historically been a marshland area and is under great pressure by developers. In addition to the great variety of wildlife found on and along the Thames, these marshes offer invaluable natural flood protection for London area, ever under threat of flooding.Fact|date=February 2008 A current threat discussed at a public inquiry beginning in April 2007 is a rail freight depot proposed at Howbury near Slade Green by ProLogis.Fact|date=February 2008 This proposal implies development on an area of Crayford Marshes north of the present train sheds. The London Development Agency perceives some strategic merit in the proposals,Fact|date=February 2008 although local councillors are not convinced that the depot would truly encourage train movements as an alternative to road haulage.Fact|date=February 2008 This scepticism arises partly because the railways in the area are heavily used by scheduled passenger trains, to the extent that Crossrail trains seem unlikely to progress to Dartford unless new tracks were laid to boost local rail capacity.Fact|date=February 2008

Dave Wardle, of the Environment Agency, believes that "London and the Thames Estuary currently have one of the best tidal defence systems in the world".Fact|date=February 2008 The Environment Agency assesses these systems will provide a high standard of protection well beyond 2030. However they also advise that future development in the Thames Gateway must go hand in hand with flood risk management, and take account of future plans for flood protection. The Agency insists it is important that effective flood risk management of the whole Estuary is not prejudiced by early decisions and development on the Gateway. [ [ Selling the Thames Gateway (] ]


External links

* [ Press release of Barker Report] on the economic effects of building more houses in south-east England. HM Treasury, 2004. Retrieved 26 December 2005.
* [ The Future Development of Air Transport in the United Kingdom: South East] . Department for Transport (UK), 2001. Retrieved 26 December 2005.
* Clark, Andrew (16 December 2002). [,,860552,00.html Thumbs down to Kent airport] . "The Guardian" (UK national title)
* [ London Thames Gateway Forum]
* [ Thames Gateway Internet TV]
* [ Thames Gateway London Partnership]
* [ Essex Thames Gateway Information Group]
* [ Wildlife Gateway - Providing a resource for information on development with wildlife in mind]
* [ LDA report on proposed Howbury rail depot]
* [ Thames Gateway South Essex Partnership]
* [ Thames Gateway Kent Partnership]
* [ Greengrid - Connecting green spaces in South Essex]
* [ The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister]
* [ London's 2012 Olympic Bid]
* [ Maps of the area]
* [ floating city project in the Thames Estuary]
* [ Medway Renaissance]
* [ SEEDA] - the South East England Development Agency
* [ Basildon Renaissance Partnership]

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