Design expert says Mayor’s changes could write London’s next chapter / by Broadway Malyan

Kings Cross

Peter Vaughan, London-based Director at global architecture, urbanism and design practice Broadway Malyan, said:

“The Mayor of London has announced plans to deliver tens of thousands of new homes and jobs in the capital through the creation of new opportunity areas.

“He plans to create four areas in the London boroughs of Southwark, Bromley and Harrow, to help boost regeneration and with the potential to deliver 11,000 new homes and 8,000 new jobs.

“The proposals are part of a package of changes the Mayor has drawn up as a development of his 2011 London Plan, the document that sets out future development of the city.

“He is certainly right to revise the original plan given the unexpected, and some might say pent up, position that we now find ourselves in, with a booming market and highly animated development sector.

“Nine months ago it was a struggle to find funding for projects. Today money is desperate to find development opportunity.

“The proposals which will give certainty and momentum to planning policy are to be welcomed. These are central to developers’ confidence and will result in the development and regeneration the Mayor, the market and Londoners are looking for.

“Without question, the inclusion of proposals to create new public transport and improve existing infrastructure will be key to realising the grand objectives of new housing and jobs on a macro scale.

“It has been proven time and time again that investment in transport results in development and regeneration – take Canary Wharf which is now in its ‘third cycle’, with the Jubilee Line, DLR and City Airport – and Crossrail and HS2 have the potential to contribute as much again.

“As a keen cyclist I’m pleased to read about the proposals to transform four outer London town centres into cycle friendly ‘mini-Hollands’ and to create ‘cycling quietways across the city. By investing for cyclists and pedestrians we can advance London as a ‘liveable’ city.

“Ideas to support ‘end users’, such as growing the digital-creative cluster at Tech City in Shoreditch and exploring the potential for a medical research cluster at Whitechapel, are hugely positive because they reinforce the distinct characteristics of the different villages that define London.

“The identification of opportunity areas will also ensure that this character of difference is maintained and enhanced. This is entirely right because it will ensure that development takes place where it is actually possible rather than forced in to the detriment and distortion of successful established areas.

“It’s terrific to see Canada Water on the list – Surrey Quays Shopping Centre has been ready for redevelopment since the day it opened in 1989!

“Policy rightly requires that there is consultation, however, recognising the dire need for additional housing and the passion in and for London, here’s to getting on with delivering the new homes and jobs through development that enhances the character of our great capital and the lives of its residents, workers and visitors.”

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