Bold plans for a new town east of London, three new river crossings and a radical approach to developing the Thames Gateway are being unveiled tonight by a former Cabinet minister tipped to run for Mayor.
“London after Boris” will need fresh thinking to create the homes, amenities and jobs people need in a fast-growing world city, according to Lord Adonis.
“We need at least one new town, possibly more, within 60 or so miles of London,” he will say.
Calling for enough housing to enable the capital to grow by an extra 1.5 million people, the Labour peer will propose full-blooded new town status for Ebbsfleet and expansion at Basildon.
Ebbsfleet has already been earmarked as a new town but Lord Adonis will say the private sector is failing to make the investment needed and the Government should take over.
He will tell Vauxhall Labour Party that home building, at 18,000 completions last year, is less than half the 40,000 Boris Johnson proposed, and that the Tory Mayor has offered “waffle and inaction” instead of the three new Thames bridges or tunnels needed.
“London as a world city and a working city will not cope over the next 20 years unless we tackle the housing crisis successfully and build essential infrastructure with the same ambition as the Victorians,” Lord Adonis will say.
The ex-Blair education secretary and transport secretary is a policy adviser to Ed Miliband. Tonight’s lecture is being seen as his first attempt to set out his ideas for running London. Tessa Jowell, Sadiq Khan, David Lammy and Diane Abbott are also tipped to bid for Labour’s mayoral candidacy in 2016.
Those two locations will meet local growth needs only, much bigger options are needed to meet the shortfall in the London Plan review. London is falling short of 22,000 houses per annum, by contrast Milton Keynes has never managed more than 650 even at the height of its growth. A New Towns Programme bigger than that of the 1960s is needed for both Birmingham and London together with radical intensification, in areas such as the Upper LEa Valley with new tube lines to serve Vancouver like densities, as I suggested in my recent Guardian article.