Thamesmead regeneration: calls grow for DLR extension as plans for 11,500 homes are revealed for ‘London’s new town’

Demands increased today for a cross-river extension of the DLR as plans for 11,500 new homes in south-east London were revealed.

Housing association Peabody and developer Lendlease announced they had formed a partnership to deliver an £8 billion waterfront scheme in Thamesmead.

Peabody hopes that Thamesmead will “finally realise its potential as London’s new town” 50 years after the first homes were completed.

Southern Thamesmead is notorious for its brutalist estates and tower blocks, which are undergoing redevelopment or demolition under separate plans.

The call for a DLR extension from Gallions Reach comes a week after Greenwich council asked Mayor Sadiq Khan to pause plans for the £1 billion Silvertown road tunnel and focus instead on the DLR.

Thamesmead lost out to Stratford in the late Nineties as the destination for the Jubilee line extension and it suffers from poor transport links, with the nearest station at Abbey Wood several miles away. 

Transport for London is “continuing to build the case” for a DLR extension to Thamesmead but it is unfunded. Mr Khan said earlier this year that it could be built within a decade if there was public support.

Today’s plans include 1.5 miles of riverfront as part of a 250-acre site. No planning application has been submitted but a minimum of 11,500 homes are promised, including a “significant” number of affordable homes.

It is the single largest development in Peabody’s 150-year history.

Chief executive Brendan Sarsfield said: “Thamesmead waterfront represents a historic opportunity to transform an isolated and under-utilised riverside location in London.”

Neil Martin, chief executive of Lendlease, Europe, said: “The breadth of opportunity and economic potential that this scheme offers Thamesmead and London is enormous.”

The plans are expected to take 30 years to complete, with the aim of revitalising Thamesmead town centre with new businesses and cultural and leisure space.

It is currently home to 45,000 people spread across nine neighbourhoods. Its landscape includes 75 hectares of green space, 4.5 miles of canals and five lakes.

Mr Martin added: “Improving transport links is a vital part of the long-term regeneration of the area, as it will bring those new homes within reach of the heart of London.” 

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