Thames Gateway Bridge announcement – London First responseJuly 26, 2007
Commenting on today’s decision by the Secretary of State of the Department for Communities and Local Government to reopen the Thames Gateway Bridge Planning Inquiry, Baroness Jo Valentine, Chief Executive of London First, said:
“After two years of waiting, we’re back at square one. By the inspector’s own admission, the strength of the regeneration case was not fully explored at the Inquiry. It surprises me that the Inspector didn’t ask for more evidence at the time. The Secretary of State has had to ask for the Inquiry to be reopened to consider further evidence on the subject.
“It demonstrates the shortcomings of the current planning inquiry system. The Planning White Paper proposals for reform of the planning system for major infrastructure must be implemented by Government.
“Regeneration of London’s Thames Gateway, to house the capital’s growing workforce, will be held up without investment in the necessary infrastructure. Without the bridge, thousands of families are in effect condemned to fester in an economic backwater.”
Notes to Editors
- London First is a business membership organisation whose mission is to make London the best city in the world in which to do business. London First undertakes this by mobilising the experience, expertise and enthusiasm of the private sector to develop practical solutions to the challenges facing London. London First also seeks to persuade central and London government to make the investments that London needs in its infrastructure
- London First delivers its activities with the support of 300 of the capital’s major businesses in key sectors such as finance, professional services, property, ICT, creative industries, hospitality and retail. Membership also includes all of London’s higher education institutions as well as further education colleges and NHS hospital trusts. London First members represent 26% of London’s GDP.”