Enhancing Beckton Riverside and Thamesmead - supplementary information

The population of London has grown rapidly over the past 20 to 30 years and is projected to rise by over a million people by 2041. East and southeast London have experienced a high share of this growth, however housing supply has not kept pace with the need and this shortfall is forecast to grow.

Newham Council and the Royal Borough of Greenwich are identified in the London Plan as two of the top three boroughs for housing need, with more than 50,000 households across both boroughs on waiting lists.

Thamesmead Waterfront and Beckton Riverside are two of the largest remaining brownfield sites in London. There is an opportunity to use this land to deliver two new residential communities, unlocking up to 25,000 to 30,000 homes and supporting up to 10,000 jobs. The sites are at the heart of the Thames Estuary Growth Corridor, a major area of economic priority for the Government.

Beckton Riverside and Thamesmead are also areas with high levels of deprivation and inequality. Housing pressures have contributed to this, alongside poor access to the rail network and poor connections to areas with greater employment opportunities. New public transport would help regenerate these areas and support new parks, schools and leisure facilities, benefitting both existing and new communities.

Thamesmead

Beckton Riverside

Local, regional and national policy



Thamesmead

Thamesmead is located on the south bank of the River Thames with a population of around 50,000. The town lies partly within the Royal Borough of Greenwich and partly within the London Borough of Bexley, and forms part of the Thamesmead and Abbey Wood Opportunity Area, as designated by the Mayor of London in the London Plan.

Aerial image of Thamesmead

Development in Thamesmead is incomplete, with a large area of planned development around the town centre yet to be delivered, due in part to a lack of public transport connections to the wider area. Without a rail station in the main part of Thamesmead, the area is highly dependent on cars and buses. This has led to pockets of high deprivation and a low Public Transport Accessibility Level (PTAL). PTAL is a key indicator of whether high levels of development could be achieved.

The Thamesmead Waterfront development area is owned Peabody, who have partnered with Lendlease to develop the site.



Beckton Riverside

Beckton Riverside is on the northern bank of the River Thames, within the London Borough of Newham, and is part of the Royal Docks and Beckton Riverside Opportunity Area. It was part of the former Beckton Gas Works and now includes the Gallions Reach Retail Park and vacant sites to the south of Armada Way, within which the area’s industrial past remains visible. The area lies to the east of the established communities of Gallions Reach and Beckton, though connections between these areas are limited by the A1020 Royal Docks Road and surrounding industrial land uses.

abrdn and St William Homes (part of the Berkeley Group) are working with Newham Council to bring forward development proposals for the area, centred around the creation of a new town centre at Beckton Riverside.

Aerial image of Beckton Riverside



Local, regional and national policy

Regeneration in Thamesmead and Beckton Riverside, made possible by delivering new, high quality public transport, is supported in local, regional and national planning policies.

National policy recognises the potential for development along the Thames Estuary, and the Thamesmead Waterfront and Beckton Riverside sites sit at the heart of this. This project aligns with the Thames Estuary 2050 Growth Commission, set up by Government, and is supported by the principles of the National Planning Policy Framework. The proposal to improve public transport and reduce car dependency in these areas also supports the Government’s Transport Decarbonisation Plan.

Both areas are designated as Opportunity Areas in the Mayor of London’s London Plan, which are areas of London identified as having the potential for transformational growth. The Mayor’s Transport Strategy also recognises the need to improve public transport in these areas, and commits to investigating the possibility of an extension of the DLR.

The Royal Borough of Greenwich and the London Borough of Newham have been working on the renewal of their Local Plans. The development of these areas is included in Newham’s 2018 Local Plan, and as part of Greenwich’s 2021 Royal Greenwich Local Plan Review.

More information about the wider proposals for enhancing Beckton Riverside and Thamesmead Waterfront can be found on the councils’ websites [links to websites]. Here you can also find information about the Opportunity Area Planning Framework documents for Royal Docks & Beckton Riverside, and for Thamesmead & Abbey Wood.


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