Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Thames Gateway policy set to Change?

I went to the Thames Gateway parliamentary reception last night. This is basically a networking event in London for all of the people involved in the Thames Gateway to meet and chat. For the unitiated 'Thames Gateway' is a term for the large scale development area on both sides of the Thames extending from London to the sea. The idea is to build somewhat over 100000 homes, with supporting commerce and infrastructue and it was originally Michael Heseltine's idea, though since eagerly siezed on by the Labour government. Anyway, Yvette Cooper her shadow Alistair Burt both spoke and the message was pretty much business as usual, but I wonder. We have an announcement today that local Councils will be able to borrow to build housing, and the recent disasters must prompt some thought on the advisability of building on flood plains. Both of these have the potential to reshape policy for the Thames Gateway, especially if Councils can effectively become developers. As ever, we await the fine print.

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