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LONDON-Lend Lease and Quintain have applied to the London Borough of Greenwich for consent to redevelop the 190-acre Greenwich peninsula site with a massive mixed use project, which includes plans to bring the Millennium Dome back into use.

The proposal includes up to 10,000 new homes in a mix of tenures; 3.7 million sf of offices in buildings of up to 15 storeys; 350,000 sf of retail and a hotel. Ever since the UK government ploughed more than £750 million ($1.2 billion) into the Millennium Dome project, the site has been a political hot potato. The developers claim that, if the proposed scheme goes ahead, it would recoup as much as £550 million ($875 million) for the taxpayer through a profit share agreement with English Partnerships, the government’s regeneration agency.

The dome itself would be leased to US-based Anschutz Entertainment, which plans to develop a 26,000-seat arena in the centre of the dome, with up to 650,000-sf of associated leisure space in the rest of the massive building.

Although there is a political imperative to turn the troubled dome into a commercial success other elements of the scheme are likely to prove controversial. Questions have been raised about the public transport system’s ability to support such a large amount of office space, and the developers have not committed themselves to meeting mayor Ken Livingstone’s threshold of 50% social housing for their residential element. It is highly unlikely that the seven-year saga of the Millennium Dome is over yet.

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