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LONDON-Michael Ward, chief executive of the London Development Agency, has called on the UK government to provide solid commitments on public investment in the Thames Gateway area of East London.

The chief executive of the London Development Agency, Michael Ward, has demanded a coherent strategy from central government regarding public investment in the Thames Gateway district of East London. Speaking at the London Enterprise 2003 conference he said that the area, due to see the building of more than 120,000 mixed-tenure homes, must offer the quality of urban experience currently available in West London.

Ward commented that while there had been “major progress” over the past few months, there was still a requirement for Thames Gateway to be viewed as a “city”, rather than a series of individual development sites. He added that London is at a “pivotal moment” when it needs clarity about the kind of “city” it wants on its eastern fringes.

Urging transparency on public investment he said: “It would be a tragic wasted opportunity if London simply repeated the mistakes of the past and built mass housing estates without achieving the quality that we need for the future.” He said this would mean investment in major infrastructure projects, in particular road and rail, as well as new bridges spanning the Thames.

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