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Boris: London 'needs 600 new schools and 1.75million more homes'

To meet London’s growing population over the next 35 years, the capital will need new river crossings and public transport in addition to schools and housing according to a report by the mayor

The draft London Infrastructure Plan 2050 looks at options for accommodating a projected 37 per cent population increase that would take the city’s headcount above 11 million in the coming decades.

Key needs identified include 1.75million new homes, 600 new schools and colleges, infrastructure to support a doubling in demand for electricity, and ‘a series’ of new river crossings.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson argues in the 93-page document that the south-west to north-east London Crossrail 2 project ‘must be approved’ to help cope with a 60-80 percent increase in demand for Underground and rail services, and adds that ‘further Crossrail projects may be required’.

The mayor also proposes the extension of London Overground’s Gospel Oak to Barking line beyond the planned Barking Riverside stop across the Thames to south-east London, and the extension of the Underground’s Bakerloo Line ‘through Southwark, into Lewisham and beyond’.

In addition to new housing development on the capital’s existing Opportunity Areas, the plan calls for the further residential densification of suburban outer London to be given serious consideration.

The document also incorporates Johnson’s longstanding call for a new hub airport east of the capital – paving the way for the residential redevelopment of Heathrow, and the more recent proposals for a new underground inner ring road – now described as a toll road.

Johnson said a dedicated Infrastructure Delivery Board for London, comprising senior representatives from all of the main infrastructure providers in the city, would be created later this year in a bid to better co-ordinate the capital’s long-term strategy.

Supporting documents said the board would include regulators, Infrastructure UK, landowners, developers, utility providers, Transport for London and Network Rail, and would potentially meet on a monthly basis.

He said the data within the draft report was ‘a real wake-up call’ on the stark needs facing the capital over the coming years.

‘Without a long term plan for investment and the political will to implement it, this city will falter,’ he said.

‘Londoners need to know they will get the homes, water, energy, schools, transport, digital connectivity and better quality of life that they expect.’

Bam Nuttall chief executive Steve Fox said the plan sent a ‘strong signal’ of confidence to the construction industry.

‘The mayor and his office have demonstrated leadership in developing procurement models that improve collaboration across our industry leading to added value and we welcome this approach,’ he said.

‘It is only by customer, contractor, designer and supply chain working together at a sufficiently early stage to develop the business case that we will see gains in overall delivery.’

Civil Engineering Contractors Association chief executive Alasdair Reisner said long-term visibility of workload was ‘essential’ for delivering world-class infrastructure in an efficient and timely manner.

‘An infrastructure plan for London which has cross-party support will encourage innovation, better resource allocation, an improved skills base and a more stable workforce throughout the construction sector,’ he said.

The plan is out to consultation for the next three months. It can be read here.

Readers' comments (1)

  • Wouldn't it be better to spend the money bringing other cities up to London's level of infrastructure and provide an alternative for businesses and opportunities to locate in other parts of the country?

    If more money is spent in London it will just make the problem worse as more business will concentrate their, more people will be desperate to live there and the problem will just continue to get worse.

    Unsuitable or offensive?

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