London mayor pledges to drive forward regeneration plans in the Thames Gateway

London mayor Ken Livingstone yesterday signalled he was looking to take a much more hands-on approach with developers to ensure increased housebuilding in the Thames Gateway.

Speaking at the Thames Gateway Forum, he said the regeneration plans for the gateway hadn’t been driven forward with enough speed so far. “In my first two terms my focus has been on getting the transport infrastructure and bringing down crime. Now my focus is going to turn to the Thames Gateway.”

The Greater London Authority is shortly to receive additional powers from government to determine policies in London on affordable housing, planning and skills. Livingstone added he would ensure that none of the annual affordable housing budget would remain unspent. “I will work closely with you to clear out bureaucratic processes that get in the way of quick delivery.”

He also said he would work harder to improve skills, particularly construction skills, within the Gateway. Livingstone’s speech came as the GLA published a “prospectus” for the Thames Gateway, setting out the mayor’s funding commitments and policies in the area. For more details see GLA Thames Gateway planning