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National Infrastructure Plan proposes Stratford 'Olympicopolis'

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A new cultural and education quarter dubbed ‘Olympicopolis’ is being planned for the London Olympic Park in Stratford

Under the plans unveiled in yesterday’s National Infrastructure Plan (NIP), University College London and the Victoria and Albert Museum would create new hubs at the site between the Olympic stadium and Stratford station.

UCL is considering building a culture and heritage centre, a design school and other learning facilities and the V&A may move part of its collection and house temporary exhibitions at the new development.

Boris Johnson said: ‘We want to use Queen Elizabeth Olympic sPark as a catalyst for the industries and technologies in which London now leads the world in order to create thousands of new jobs.’

The name Olympicopolis is a spin on Albertopolis, the name given to the slew of museums and galleries that sprang up under Prince Albert’s guidance around Exhibition Road following the 1851 Great Exhibition.

Previous story (04.11.13)

Housing Forum rounds on latest National Infrastructure Plan

The Housing Forum lobby group has attacked the coalition’s newly announced £375 billion National Infrastructure Plan (NIP), accusing it of ignoring the ‘critical’ housing issue

Today treasury secretary Danny Alexander unveiled the coalition’s fourth NIP which includes confirmation of funding for a new £50 million railway at Gatwick Airport, road improvements to Felixstowe Port, Suffolk and £1 billion of cash for the Northern Line extension..

Alexander said: ‘You name it, we’re building it right now. This is great news for the people of the UK because after years of neglect, the UK’s energy, road, rail, flood defence, communications and water infrastructure needs renewal.”

But Housing Forum chief executive Shelagh Grant rounded on the transport-centric plan. She said: ‘Housing is more critical to the country’s infrastructure than one -off flagship transport projects.’

Grant urged the government to use the autumn statement to address the housing issue through a range of financial and policy measures including tax breaks for house builders and also a call to free up more land for building.

She also proposed the establishment of a National Housing Bank backed by major investors which would ‘offer investment opportunities in retail bonds and Housing ISAs for smaller investors and would immediately stimulate house building.’

The National Infrastructure Plan at a glance

  • Additional £50 million for a redevelopment of Gatwick Airport’s railway station
  • Government guarantee to support finance for a new nuclear power station at Wylfa, North Wales
  • Olympicopolos (see above)
  • A UK guarantee for the £1 billion Northern Line extension to Battersea in London
  • Funding for improvements to the A50 around Uttoxeter, in Staffordshire
  • Improvements to the A14 around Felixstowe Port, Suffolk
  • Target for the sale of corporate and financial assets to be doubled to £20 billion
  • Above to include the selling of the government’s shares in Eurostar
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