Study by the IPPR says that planning policies must address diverse needs of high earners and minority groups.
Planning policies for the Thames Gateway development will have to cater for the needs of high earners and minority groups if it is to achieve the social mix desired by politicians, according to a new study.
The Institute for Public Policy Research has found that high earners are only likely to move to areas of the scheme with very good transport links and a strong cultural heritage, and are “resistant” to mixed tenure developments where homeowners would live in proximity to low-income tenants.
Meanwhile, the report said that those from black and other minority ethnic communities were concerned over the availability of culturally-specific goods and services in the new and expanded towns.
The report, compiled by IPPR researchers Jim Bennett and James Morris, showed that the area could also have difficulty attracting new residents because of fears over the quality of its design.
It said that representatives of all groups interviewed “feared that the new homes in the Thames Gateway could be of poor quality, and in neighbourhoods without a sense of place.”
However, potential residents from low- and middle-income households were attracted by the prospect of more affordable housing in the scheme
Bennett said: “Although people want to live in housing which is affordable, they certainly don’t want to live in something called ‘affordable housing’.
“Attracting a social mix of people into the Gateway remains a big challenge because of these negative perceptions.”
Meanwhile, existing residents expressed concerns over the ability of infrastructure and public services to cope with the new population, the loss of green space and fears that the new residents would fail to integrate.