Three years ago I worked on a proposal for â€œThames Reach â€“ A New Cityâ€, and published the ideas with sketches, provided by Area Architects, of what could be achieved. I was seeking to show that there was scope for more construction, and a more imaginative approach to new housing estates and commercial estates in the East Thames Corridor.
The part of the plan which excited most attention from the media was the suggestion that we could reclaim some land from the Thames, and extend the built area into the estuary. It seemed to me that we could use such new land to take the pressure off greenfield sites in Kent, and, out of the proceeds of all the planning permissions, we might be able to pay for the additional flood defences London and the East Thames developments are going to need.
I was delighted to see yesterday that Scott Wilson, the engineering consultancy, has taken up a variant of the idea and has drawn on Terry Farrellâ€™s scheme for a bridge linking Kent to Essex via islands in the estuary. Apparently there are interested Middle Eastern investors, who have seen how well reclaimed land and property development has worked in Dubai.
If London is to keep its place as one of the worldâ€™s great cities, and as an attractive place for inward investors, we need the next Docklands to keep the momentum going. What better option than to create waterside locations for offices, shops and residential developments, by reclaiming estuary land? At the same time, deep-water channels could be dredged for shipping and Londonâ€™s sea defences strengthened.
Click here to download John’s PowerPoint presentation on “Thames Reach – A New City”. Please contact his office directly for a copy of his pamphlet on this subject, which is too large to upload onto the website.