Mayor opens London’s first super sewer

Mayor opens London's first super sewerThe Mayor of London Boris Johnson has officially opened the Lee Tunnel, the first of two super sewers which will dramatically improve the health and cleanliness of the Rivers Lee and Thames in the capital.

The Lee Tunnel is the largest single project in the history of the privatised water industry in England and Wales and is the deepest ever bored under the capital at around 75 metres deep.

It is the width of three double decker buses and is the most significant development of London’s Victorian sewers since Sir Joseph Bazalgette originally built the network in the 1860s.

The five associated shafts are the deepest constructed in the London Basin. The project also includes 6 mega pumps of 3MW each. At its peak, MVB employed 750 people at the same time on this project.

The Mayor Boris Johnson, in partnership with Thames Water, the Environment Agency and London Councils recently launched the first London Sustainable Drainage Action Plan, identifying potential flooding hotspots across the city and proposing innovative ways of diverting rain back from the sewers into the soil with rain gardens or green roofs.

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson MP said: “This amazing new super sewer is providing the bold infrastructure needed to support the movements of our rapidly growing city. For years our historic Victorian systems have heaved at the seams, muddling along, battling to cope with the increasing rainfall and waste of a modern population.

Now the River Thames will benefit from vast improvements to its water quality with less pollution and overflow. Alongside my sustainable drainage work to reduce flooding, the investment in the Lee and the forthcoming Thames Tideway Tunnel are set to benefit Londoners for generations to come.”

Thames Water chief executive Martin Baggs said: “We are honoured that the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, was here to celebrate the opening of the ground-breaking Lee Tunnel, which is a crucial part of our ongoing work to clean up the River Thames.”

New tech hub to create thousands of new jobs

New tech hub to create thousands of new jobs 2Plans to convert an iconic flour mill into a new centre for business and enterprise that will create 20,000 new jobs in East London have been given the go-ahead.

The new tech and creative hub for the east of the city with 5 million square feet of business space and 3,000 new homes will be built on a 62-acre site at Silvertown Quays in the Royal Docks.

The land, which also includes the Millennium Mills, is owned by the Greater London Authority and is the largest undeveloped site at the docks. A unique cluster of purpose built centres for product innovation will be built there as well as a school, cafes, restaurants, galleries and public spaces.

Work began earlier this year, following a £12 million government investment secured by the Mayor of London, to demolish parts of the interior of the former flour factory and rid it of asbestos in order to fast track redevelopment. That work means the site will be ready to welcome the next generation of start-up business by 2017.

Redevelopment forms the centrepiece of a wider £3.5bn project, led by the GLA’s development partners the Silvertown Partnership. It is anticipated the redevelopment will attract 13 million visitors a year and will contribute £260 million each year to London’s economy.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson MP, said: “By breathing new life into this wonderful old flour mill we can rejuvenate this area of east London and contribute some serious dough to the capital’s economy.

Silvertown Quays will provide thousands of new jobs and thousands of much-needed new homes and facilities for local people as we return the area to its former glory.”

Sir Stuart Lipton, who leads The Silvertown Partnership, said: “This energetic and exciting new London destination will also bring forward 3,000 new homes, thousands of jobs and long term benefits for the local and London economy.”

Berkeley strikes deal on 3,500-home East London site

Berkeley strikes deal on 3,500-home East London siteA total of 3,500 new homes, a school and a park will transform a disused Parcelforce depot in east London, thanks to an agreement between the Mayor of London and Berkeley Homes.

The 10 hectare site in Stephenson Street, Newham will boast a new school and green space, as well as nearly 100,000 sq ft of community, business, leisure and retail space.

More than 1,200 of the 3,500 homes will be for affordable rent or shared ownership. It is part of the Mayor Boris Johnson’s wider push to strengthen institutional investment in the residential market in London, with City Hall initiatives aimed at boosting both shared ownership and purpose-built private rent.

The development of the former depot continues the Mayor’s drive to release all sites in the capital under his ownership for development.

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson MP said: This huge chunk of disused land will be put to the best possible use, creating a whole new neighbourhood including 3,500 much-needed new homes, a new school and a park.

This ambitious development will help to further the continuing transformation of east London as part of our Olympic legacy.”

Chairman of the Berkeley Group Tony Pidgley CBE said: Stephenson Street will be a new village for London. It will have all the qualities that a successful community needs: shops, workspaces and a school, links between neighbours, a beautiful park where people can play and great transport connections. Above all, this site will create homes for people regardless of their age, background or income. It will be a place for everyone.

Berkeley Homes was selected from a shortlist of four developers as the partner for the new site as part of the London Development Panel procurement process, which was set up by the Mayor to accelerate the delivery of housing in London.

A key part of the Mayor’s Housing Strategy is to encourage institutional investors, such as pension funds and insurance companies, to invest in housebuilding.

This includes efforts to support extended leases and more stability for tenants as well as top quality, well designed, new developments.

Mayor approves 25,500-home west London plan

London Mayor Boris JohnsonA planning framework which will deliver more than 25,500 new homes and create up to 65,000 jobs at Old Oak and Park Royal has been approved by the Mayor of London.

Old Oak in West London is set to become a new home to a world-class High Speed 2 (HS2) and Crossrail Station by 2026, handling 250,000 passengers a day and acting as a super hub between London and the rest of the UK, Europe and the world.

Mayor Boris Johnson believes this presents the opportunity to create tens of thousands of new homes and could provide almost 14 per cent of Greater London’s employment needs up to 2031, with early estimates of a £7 billion annual contribution to the UK economy.

The Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation was launched by the Mayor in April and will drive the planning and regeneration of the site that straddles the London boroughs of Hammersmith & Fulham, Brent and Ealing.

Earlier this year, the Mayor published an Opportunity Area Planning Framework for consultation, which sets out his long-term vision for the area. Following the conclusion of that consultation, the Mayor has now approved the document which sets the strategic planning direction for the area.

Sir Edward Lister, Deputy Mayor for Planning and Chairman of the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation, said: “London urgently needs new homes and commercial space to meet its ever growing population and there can be no doubt that the regeneration of Old Oak represents a real opportunity to meet those needs.

This strategy will mean we can plan for the future of this vast site as we work to create a new, thriving and sustainable part of the capital, where people will love to live, work, play and visit.”

Boris backs Crossrail 2 to deliver homes and jobs for Londoners

Boris backs Crossrail 2 to deliver homes and jobs for LondonersMayor Boris Johnson has announced new Growth Commission to help realise Crossrail 2’s full potential to boost economic growth in London and across the UK.

The Mayor has the support from more than 50 top business leaders who back the economic case for Crossrail 2 as vital to securing hundreds of thousands of new homes and jobs.

The construction of Crossrail 2 will support the UK engineering, construction and manufacturing sectors with a supply chain supporting around 60,000 full time jobs.

This is in addition to the 18,000 who will be employed directly during the peak of construction and over 1,300 new jobs that will be created to operate Crossrail 2.

The Commission will help maximise the benefit of the new railway by bringing together the London boroughs, county councils outside London and other key business and development stakeholders along the route to work together on how the railway can best support housing and job creation.

Tens of thousands of homes could be built ahead of opening in anticipation of the improved connectivity, helping to meet the demands of a rapidly growing population.

Mayor of London, Boris Johnson MP, said: “Crossrail 2 will help realise London’s full economic potential, increasing the nation’s productivity and creating thousands of new jobs and homes.

Major projects take time to plan and prepare and with Crossrail 1 nearing completion, we must move quickly to the next transformational growth project which could see even more benefits delivered. Crossrail 2 will support up to 200,000 more homes and jobs, adding billions of pounds to the national economy and ensuing a prosperous future for the whole country.”

Once operational, Crossrail 2 will allow more people to access jobs, supporting the creation of up to 200,000 new jobs, both locally and in London’s highly productive central area.

A PWC study published in 2014 showed that at least half the cost of Crossrail 2 can be met by London.  By linking homes and jobs Crossrail 2 could deliver net additional GVA benefits – the value of goods and services produced – totalling up to £100 billion, generating tax revenues that are more than sufficient to fund central Government’s contribution.

Mayor of London announces to fast-track 12,000 new homes

London Mayor Boris JohnsonThe Mayor of London has announced a further four Housing Zones across London, accelerating efforts to deliver the new homes and boost the construction industry.

The new zones in the boroughs of Havering, Enfield, Redbridge and Tower Hamlets will together deliver over 12,000 new homes, nearly 3,500 of which will be affordable housing.

This will bring the number of Housing Zones announced to 15 with a total of 45,109 homes created, 14,055 of them affordable.

The Mayor of London has contributed a total of £162 million in funding to the new Housing Zones, which are a collaborative effort between the Greater London Authority, the government and local boroughs to streamline approval processes and fast-track development in areas where it may not otherwise happen.

Included in the new Housing Zones will be two brand new rail stations, a large new park, new primary schools, and new retail and entertainment precincts. They will revitalise currently disused brownfield sites and turn them into neighbourhoods where Londoners will work, live and visit.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: “Housing Zones will provide the swift delivery of new homes for Londoners that is so desperately needed and create entirely new, highly-connected urban districts for generations to come.

By freeing up empty brownfield sites from lengthy approval processes and providing a funding boost, we can ensure new housing capacity is created in areas where it might never otherwise have happened.

I am very pleased that the announcement of four more Housing Zones today brings us within touching distance of our aim to create 50,000 new homes through this innovative scheme.”

Go-ahead for £1.7 bn Royal Albert Dock scheme

Go-ahead for £1.7 bn Royal Albert Dock schemeThe creation of the £1.7 billion London’s next business district that will create thousands of jobs has today moved a significant step closer.

The Greater London Authority has given the go-ahead in the process towards full planning approval to ABP for the 4.7 million sq ft development at Royal Albert Dock.

This follows the decision by Newham Council last year to grant planning permission subject to the response from the GLA.

ABP is expected to be able to begin work on the 35 acre site later this year and build what is being described as London’s next financial business district following the City of London and Canary Wharf. The first phase will be completed in 2018.

UK planning regulations are complex and it is understood it took months of negotiations between ABP and the planning authorities involving London Borough of Newham, Transport for London, and the Greater London Authority before agreement was finally reached.

The final stage is for UK Secretary of State, Eric Pickles, who is responsible for planning within the UK Central Government, to formally allow ABP to progress and Newham have already sent the documents to his office for ratification.

ABP’s Chief Operating Officer and Executive Director, John Miu, said: “Obviously we are delighted by how the whole planning process has progressed and we are looking forward to getting underway and completing our first phase in just 3 years.

There is tremendous interest from across Asia from companies wanting to locate in the Royal Albert Dock business district development and we look forward to making further exciting announcements in the months ahead.”

Sir Robin Wales, Mayor of Newham, said: “This decision means that we are a step closer to realising the vision of Newham as an international location for business.

The ABP development will bring further investment in to east London, including thousands of jobs and opportunities for Newham residents within high-tech businesses as well as construction industries from at home and abroad.

ABP is a significant part of the Royal Docks transformation which will see the revival of the waterfront and reinstate the docks as the heart of London’s industry.”

Docklands deal will deliver 3,500 new London homes

Docklands deal will deliver 3,500 new London homesWork on a major new development at the heart of London’s Docklands is set to get underway thanks to £200 million government funding to Canary Wharf Group, Eric Pickles announced.

The new phase of Canary Wharf development will deliver 3,500 homes as well as offices, shops leisure facilities and create new jobs in the building trades.

The scheme has been planned for more than a decade – but this government funding boost will enable work to finally get started.

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said: “London’s Docklands have been completely transformed in the last 20 years into an exciting place to live and work.

Today’s £200 million deal will ensure this continues long into the future with the development of Wood Wharf, delivering thousands of homes as well as job opportunities.”

Delivering homes and jobs in the capital

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson said:“This funding will help to accelerate the regeneration of a ‎currently derelict brownfield site into a brand new community.”

Under the terms of today’s deal, the Canary Wharf Group will receive a £200 million loan from the government to provide the infrastructure needed to unlock the site to the east of the existing Canary Wharf estate, including the relocation and upgrading of utilities for the site.

The funding will also make it an attractive place to live and work by funding a network of parks and public squares, as well as improved road and pedestrian access.

It will mean work can then get started on delivering 3,500 homes, including 607 affordable homes, as well as 2.8 million square feet of offices, shops and community facilities.

These proposals have already got planning permission, so work will be able to start within months.

Andy Rose, chief executive at the Homes and Communities Agency, said: “The £200 million contribution to this project will accelerate the infrastructure needed to boost this vital centre for business activity by unlocking land to establish Canary Wharf as a residential location, building the homes that London needs to supply viable housing developments.”

Mayor of London unveils major new development at West Ham

London Mayor Boris JohnsonPlans to fast track the delivery of approximately 2,000 homes on the site of a former Parcelforce depot in East London have been announced by the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson.

The 10 hectare Stephenson Street site at West Ham, Newham used to comprise a large scale Parcelforce warehouse and car park and is the latest of several sites in the Mayor’s ownership to be released for housing.

These land holdings came under the control of the Mayor three years ago when he inherited almost 700 hectares of surplus public land across the capital. So far, 90 per cent of this land is now in development or in the process of development.

With two million Londoners now privately renting, it is expected that a third of the new homes in this residential-led mixed use scheme will be for high quality, long-term private rent, with the remainder delivered as affordable housing to buy or rent as well as and private for sale aimed at Londoners.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “With London now home to more people than ever before, housing supply and affordability is our biggest challenge.

By seeking a development partner for the Stephenson Street site we hope to entice investors and developers to come forward and build quality homes for Londoners.”

The Mayor’s work to redevelop disused public land is one strand of his comprehensive Housing Strategy to double house building and create the homes hardworking Londoners need.

He is set to deliver a record 100,000 low cost homes for Londoners over his two terms, with more than 83,000 already completed.

Housing and infrastructure-top of Londoners’ agenda

London Mayor Boris JohnsonHousing and infrastructure are the key challenges facing the capital, according to a recent Londoners polled by City Hall published this month.

The 2014 London survey was created to ask Londoners what they think about the city to help inform the work of the Mayor and City Hall with 3,674 responses received via the GLA’s Talk London website.

The poll’s findings put housing as the most pressing issue for London with 87 per cent of respondents believing more housing is needed generally, while 65 per cent think more housing is required in their local area.

When asked to rank the best solutions to the housing challenge, the poll found four measures came out neck and neck – these were supporting home ownership for first time buyers; making sure landlords act fairly; improving the quality of existing social housing; and increasing the building of new homes.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “ It is reassuring that the findings reflect the priorities my administration has focused on, ploughing record investment into housing and transport and programmes to promote growth.”


The Mayor is on track to build a record 100,000 low cost homes for Londoners over his two terms, with more than 77,000 already completed.  This year alone, more affordable homes are being built than in any other year since the early 1980s.

The Mayor is stimulating house building with a range of pioneering new policies, including 20 new housing zones to help fast-track the delivery of 50,000 new homes; and a housing bank to make long term low cost loans available for new affordable homes.

The Mayor has launched the first ever London Rental Standard – a city-wide badge of accreditation, to help millions of Londoners rent with confidence. The standard is awarded to all landlords and letting agents who meet a set of significant core commitments set by the Mayor.