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'Beware of New Orleans repeated in Thames Gateway'

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The horrific events in New Orleans should sharpen the focus on the danger of flooding in the Thames Gateway, one of Ken Livingstone's chief advisors has warned.

Ricky Burdett, an architecture and design advisor to London's mayor, told the AJ this morning that the American disaster should highlight the risks facing the massive area earmarked for the capital's expansion.

The former director of the London School of Economics' Cities Programme said the government needed to be careful the New Orleans disaster was not repeated in the UK.

There has long been concern that the threat of flooding could impede the plans for a vast house-building exercise east of London. Environmental expert after environmental expert has warned that John Prescott has not taken the danger of tidal surges in to account.

Speaking in the aftermath of the New Orleans disaster, Burdett said: 'This should really sharpen the focus on the dangers of flooding in the Thames Gateway.

'It is something that we need to look at urgently,' the American-born academic warned.

by Ed Dorrell

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