Written evidence submitted by London Thames
Gateway Development Corporation
1. London Thames Gateway Development Corporation
(LTGDC) is a Non Departmental Public Body sponsored by Communities
and Local Government (CLG) with responsibility for leading the
regeneration of much of east London. Established before the 2012
Olympics was awarded to London, LTGDC has worked closely with
the London Development Agency (LDA), Olympic Development Agency
(ODA) and now the new Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC) to support
the delivery of a successful games and ensure long term legacy
2. LTGDC is supporting the five host boroughs
strategy for "convergence", that is to secure sustained
regeneration across the sub-region, building on the investment
in the Olympics, and force key measures of socio-economic performance
up to the London average.
3. LTGDC is leading on a number of projects in
the areas surrounding the Olympic Park to assist neighbouring
communities to benefit from the huge investment in the Park. The
momentum that has been created must be maintained. The Olympics
has brought an added spotlight to these areas and they cannot
afford to lose out pre or post 2012.
4. LTGDC is also working closely with the
Olympic Park Legacy Company to develop a strong and clearly defined
relationship. The prospect is for a major long term development
programme post games in the Olympic Park led by the Olympic Legacy
Company, in tandem with the wider regeneration of the Lower Lea
Valley, led by the Urban Development Corporation, and supported
by excellent public services led by the host boroughs and partner
5. London Thames Gateway Development Corporation
(LTGDC) is the Government's lead regeneration agency for the Lower
Lea Valley and London Riverside, two areas with the greatest potential
for growth in London and the Thames Gateway (Map follows). LTGDC
is a non-departmental public body with a board of 13 appointed
by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.
6. LTGDC was established in 2004 with an indicative
lifespan of 10 years (with a review at five years) to tackle large
dysfunctional areas in the Lower Lea Valley and London Riverside
that are unlikely to realise their potential without significant
intervention. Government considered an Urban Development Corporation
(UDC) with its ability to determine large strategic planning applications
and its powers to acquire land, using compulsory purchase powers
if necessary, was the best structure for the task.
7. The two areas covered by the UDC suffer
from disparate land ownership, major environmental challenges,
large scale ground contamination, local infrastructure and access
issues, significant deprivation and serious skills deficits.
8. LTGDC, together with partner agencies
including the local London Boroughs, is meeting these challenges
by developing a clear strategic policy framework. With the investment
in and delivery of key projects, LTGDC is acting as a vital catalyst
to realise the London Thames Gateway's economic potential.
9. Soon after establishment, LTGDC completed
regeneration frameworks, together with fully costed delivery plans,
in partnership with the Greater London Authority (GLA) family
and the local councils for both the Lower Lea Valley and London
Riverside. These provide the policy basis to transform these areas
into vibrant high quality sustainable communities with thriving
economies. 35,000 new homes and 50,000 new jobs will be created
in the Lower Lea Valley with 33,000 new homes and 17,000 new jobs
in London Riverside.
10. In 2007, an Opportunity Area Planning
Framework for the Lower Lea Valley was formally adopted by the
Mayor of London. LTGDC is now working with the GLA to produce
a Framework for London Riverside to be adopted by the Mayor in
11. Masterplans have been developed by LTGDC
in association with the GLA family and borough partners for Canning
Town, Bromley by Bow, Sugar House Lane, Hackney Wick/Fish Island,
Thameside West, Poplar Riverside, the River Roding, the A1306
corridor and Rainham Village. Most of these have been adopted
as policy by local councils while work continues on the remainder
to refine them.
12. £133.5 million of capital has been
invested by LTGDC to 31st March 2009, of which 60% has been invested
directly and 40% through grant funding, mostly to the local councils.
LTGDC has a further allocation of £80 million of central
Government funding for the period 2009-11.
13. Government has just completed its five
year review of Urban Development Corporations and on 14 January
2010 the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Communities
and Local Government made the following written statement:
"London Thames Gateway Development Corporation
(LTGDC) has performed well, working in an extremely complicated
environment, handling a complex planning case load. The organisation
has existed for a relatively limited period, but in this time,
it has put in place innovative planning processes, and is starting
to deliver real and tangible benefit for the area through its
investment in new homes, jobs, open space, transport infrastructure
and its education and skills programme.
The proximity of the Olympic Park to LTGDC's
area means that the Corporation has an important role to play
in securing a long term legacy in East London from the 2012 Olympic
Games. It is important that LTGDC is focussed on this in the run
up to the Games, and the Government has therefore decided not
to make any changes to the structure or responsibilities of the
Corporation prior to the Olympics."
14. Therefore LTGDC has a reaffirmed mandate
from government and a strengthened focus on the Lower Lea Valley.
The Corporation has always regarded the Olympics as an enormous
boost to its regeneration task in east London; LTGDC and the Olympic
Park Legacy Company can between them provide the organisational
strength, statutory powers, land and resources to deliver a reconfigured
Lower Lea Valley that provides opportunities for London's communities
and benefits to the economy of London and the south-east.
15. In the run up to the Games, LTGDC will
continue to invest in programmes of development and environmental
enhancements around the fringes of the Olympic Park, the Olympic
"Arc", whilst preparing for future schemes that commence
as the Park becomes fully integrated with the surrounding areas
LTGDC WORK IN
16. LTGDC is working with the LDA, ODA,
the Olympic Park Legacy Company, the host boroughs and other stakeholders
to maximise the physical legacy of the London 2012 Games for the
local communities. Masterplans are completed or nearing completion
to ensure the Olympic Park is fully integrated into the surrounding
communities and that they benefit from the investment in the Games.
17. LTGDC is working with the local councils
and the ODA to ensure key routes into the Olympic Park are created
and the public realm in Stratford, the Three Mills area including
Three Mills Lock, and Hackney Wick and Fish Island is improved
in order to position these areas for private sector investment.
18. In terms of projects, the National Skills
Academy for Financial Services opened in January 2008, with LTGDC
providing a £1 million grant, and significant advice and
guidance with the business planning of this new facility.
19. In October 2009 LTGDC completed an inward
investment and marketing suite, "The View", high up
overlooking the Park. This spectacular space will be used by Think
London, Gateway to London, Invest Thames Gateway, UK Trade &
Investment, LOCOG, OPLC, CLG and the local councils to attract
20. The "View Tube", a partnership
project between LTGDC the Olympic Delivery Agency, Leaside Regeneration
and Thames Water has been opened on The Greenway adjacent to Olympic
Park, offering a visitor and community centre with a programme
of activities, a cafe«, and a viewing platform overlooking
the Olympic Park and Stratford City.
21. In Stratford High Street LTGDC has committed
£10 million to funding the design and procurement of public
realm enhancement works.
22. LTGDC has agreed with LDA funding to
extend the Olympic Combined Cooling Heat and Power infrastructure
beyond the Olympic Park to optimise renewable energy opportunities.
This will be the first stage in a utilities infrastructure network
to cover the entire Lower Lea Valley.
23. Improvement works funded by LTGDC around
Hackney Wick to the canal tow paths and existing bridges and underpasses
across the A12 will start during 2010.
24. In addition to preparing delivery strategies
and investing in land and buildings, LTGDC has been working with
those schools (or other providers) which are closest to its priority
areas and have the greatest potential to transform. That transformation
is centred on developing strong leadership, meeting economic growth
needs, building upon community / business networks and utilising
local drivers such as the Build Schools for the Future programme.
The transformation is largely measured by increased GCSE pass
rates and progression rates (of pupils to further/higher education
25. LTGDC is working with Birkbeck College
and University of East London to secure the site acquisition for
the new campus with the London Borough of Newham and to HEFCE
funding. It will invest alongside HEFCE and UEL in the campus
with development work scheduled to commence in 2012.
26. The opportunity to harness the momentum
and investment created by hosting the 2012 Olympics in east London
and securing permanent socio-economic benefits has been recognised
at all levels of government; the boost that such a major event
brings to the established regeneration agenda for the area needs
to be captured and maintained.
27. Central, regional and local government have
joined with development agencies to assess the current challenges
facing the five Olympic host boroughs, the planned investment
coming into the area, the opportunities presented by those investments,
and the potential barriers to local communities benefiting fully.
This work has led to an approach which identifies how the host
boroughs will use the physical changes in the area to deliver
a social and economic legacy through co-ordinated effort on improved
services across agencies, particularly in education and skills,
reducing worklessness, increasing health and wellbeing, reducing
crime, and increasing participation in sport. This will be coupled
with ensuring that physical developments, including housing, support
social objectives and are of excellent quality. LTGDC is committed
to supporting the local service delivery agencies in this shared
28. The principle that underpins this approach
is one of convergence. For the five host boroughs the measure
of success will be that, in the next 20 years, residents in the
host boroughs will equal the London average in a range of indicators,
including employment, educational attainment, life expectancy
and crime. Given the serious levels of deprivation in parts of
the host boroughs at the moment, these are very challenging targets.
However, it is now that we have the best possible opportunity
to move in that direction and for east London to fulfil its potential
contribution to the UK economy.
29. LTGDC will continue its programme of
bringing forward land assembly and development, utilising its
CPO powers and planning powers to secure comprehensive treatment
to derelict and underutilised land. It will also continue its
programme of support and investment in education and skills, public
realm and marketing and inward investment.
LTGDC AND THE
30. The redevelopment and regeneration of
the Olympic Park is one of the largest, most ambitious and longest-term
regeneration tasks this country has ever embarked upon. At the
heart of this project is the creation of new communities centred
on the Olympic parkland and venues.
31. LTGDC has welcomed the establishment of the
Olympic Park Legacy Company and initial meetings have indicated
a strong shared ambition for the area, an understanding of the
complimentary roles of the two organisations, and a commitment
to effective joint working.
32. The Olympic Park Legacy Company will
take responsibility for the business planning and marketing of
the Olympic Park, venues and commercial opportunities leading
up to 2012; the management of the Olympic Park and venues after
2012; the redevelopment of sites in the Olympic Park used for
temporary facilities during the Games, and their integration with
retained venues; and working with partners to secure economic
and social benefits and improvements in the areas of deprivation
surrounding the Olympic Park.
33. The priority for the Company is to deliver
the development of the former Olympic site as a high quality,
sustainable mixed community as well as securing long term development
of the venues and parklands in ways which provide national and
local sporting and cultural value commensurate with their Olympic
34. LTGDC is leading on a number of projects
in the areas surrounding the Olympic Park to ensure that the surrounding
communities maximise the opportunities that will arise from the
huge investment in the Park. It is imperative that the momentum
that has been created is maintained. The period to 2012 is the
time when the Olympic spotlight will be on these areas and they
cannot afford to lose out on the opportunity.
35. LTGDC already has a good working relationship
with the ODA and the LDA on Olympic fringe projects. Indeed, it
has agreed responsibilities for delivery of projects in the Olympic
fringe with the LDA, delivered the Three Mills Lock and the View
Tube project with the ODA and been closely involved in negotiations
around the nature of Olympic investment (eg the IBC/MPC) on the
36. LTGDC is also working closely with the
Olympic Park Legacy Company to develop a strong and clearly defined
relationship. Both parties are agreed that the Olympic Park Legacy
Company must focus its efforts on the Park while LTGDC focuses
its efforts with the boroughs on rest of the Lower Lea Valley.
37. Of key importance will be the Company's
ability to take the long view and not be forced into less than
optimum solutions to secure early financial returns. Encouragingly
the Company is taking a close look at the draft Legacy Masterplan
Framework to ensure that the key principles of place making and
connectivity are embedded in the framework; subsequent detailed
plans can then be assessed against the key criteria of that overarching
38. LTGDC will continue to work with the
boroughs and the Company to secure physical and social benefits
for the surrounding communities, to attract inward investment
and employment opportunities, and ultimately to deliver the jointly
agreed government/mayor/LTGDC 2006 "vision" for the
Lower Lea Valley.