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London projects scrapped as LDA funding cuts bite

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Budget cuts have forced the London Development Agency (LDA) to lose 100 staff, scrap half a dozen projects and delay or reduce funding on more than 25 others

The LDA is struggling to save £40 million following the government’s cost-cutting review of regional development agencies in May, and the agency is likely to be asked to make further savings after the comprehensive spending review in October.

A landscaping programme for Kingsland High Street in Dalston and East’s proposal to improve Farringdon’s public realm have been shelved.

Other casualties include: plans for a new station at Beam Park in Romford; a £100,000 addition to Gross Max’s revamp of Brixton town centre; a £1 million urban realm grant for Transport for London; and a public realm policy drawn up for Roman Road in Ilford.

Peter Bishop, deputy chief executive of the LDA, said: ‘In cases where there are no capital funds available we are putting them on hold. We’re not funding anything unless there is a prospect of it being built.

‘We have done our best to protect the public realm, which is a mayoral priority.’

Nevertheless, funding schedules for Meadowcroft Griffin Architects and Latz + Partner’s £67 million Crystal Palace Park revamp and Witherford Watson Mann Architects’ £4 million Bankside Urban Forest (pictured above) have been delayed.

Philip Meadowcroft, director of Meadowcroft Griffin Architects, said: ‘[The impact] is massive and there is likely to be more to come. The LDA has an overview of the whole of London. With this taken away it becomes chaos again.’

Up to 100 LDA staff will leave their posts at the end of September; half are taking voluntary redundancy. Design for London, a subsidiary of the LDA that employs 20 architects, has had its budget reduced by 40 per cent and has made one redundancy.

 

Scrapped

• Farringdon public realm by East

• Kingsland High Street landscaping

• New Beam Park station

Funding delayed

• Crystal Palace Park by Meadowcroft Griffin Architects and Latz + Partner

• Bankside Urban Forest (pictured right) by Witherford Watson Mann Architects

• Greenway to the Thames by Adams & Sutherland

Funding reduced

• Barking Town Centre Grey and Green Grid

• Royal Albert Basin masterplan

• North Lewisham public space

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