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Thames Gateway

You are in: London > Places > Thames Gateway > Lower Lea

Proposed Stratford City Development

Stratford proposal. Copyright DCLG

Lower Lea

Regeneration is key to tackling poverty and unemployment that is common in this area.

The Lower Lea valley area surrounds the River Lea which runs along the boundary of the London Boroughs of Tower Hamlets and Newham.

Regeneration is key to tackling poverty and unemployment that is common in the area.

The Stratford City project is one of the largest projects in the Thames Gateway development and will provide the area with much needed employment opportunities and housing.

What is it?

The Lower Lea Valley has been described as ‘the largest remaining regeneration opportunity in inner London’. 

Much of its land is taken up with derelict industrial land and poor housing, often divided by underused waterways, unattractive pylons, roads, the London Underground and heavy rail lines. 

The Vision

The aim is to create a better place to live, to train people living in the area and to provide them with jobs.

The plan is to transform the large number of underused canals and waterways into a new ‘water city’.  They also want to create an integrated park system that celebrates the Gateway’s natural attributes, creating a space for people to relax.

On the Olympic Fringe of Hackney Wick, Fish Island and Stratford, there are many sites which will become suitable for high-quality business accommodation forming over 2,000 jobs and 4,500 new homes. 

The LTGDC wants to create a new town centre in Canning Town providing new homes, jobs, shops, landmark architecture and public spaces. 

Lea Valley Park is being created to open up 75 hectares of the Lower Lea Valley, linked together with a series of green, public spaces that will be created around the water.  

Where is it?

It runs north-south from Stratford to Canary Wharf and is situated just three miles from Central London.

When is it happening?

The transformation of the Lower Lea Valley is underway now in order to get everything completed in time for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. 
Construction of Stratford City will begin in 2007.


The Lower Lea Valley is one of the UK’s most deprived areas with a very high level of unemployment and low level of skills.  Approximately 110 hectares of brownfield land will be reclaimed to produce the Olympic Park. 

Bromley-by-Bow, is located in the heart of the Lower Lea Valley, and listed in the Domesday Book of 1086.  The waterways, Bow Locks, and the listed tidal mill on Three Mills Island form a high quality setting for new homes. 

The Numbers

  • In Canary Wharf, employment is expected to grow from 82,000 to 120,000 jobs by 2016. 
  • A total of 13,000 homes are expected to be provided on the Isle of Dogs by 2016.
  • In the 70 hectare site for Stratford City east of the Olympic Park in Newham, consent has been granted for 4,800 residential units, over 620,000 sq.m of commercial, hotel and leisure space and 150,000 sq.m of retail space that will rival Bluewater. 
  • The Stratford City development alone could produce up to 34,000 jobs.
    The legacy of the Olympic Games will include at least 6,300 new homes, possibly more, and 11,000 jobs.
  • 1,500 new homes and 4,500 jobs in office, retail and leisure units will be made in the development of Canning Town Centre.
  • The Bromley-by-Bow area can accommodate around 3,500 new homes and at least 500 new jobs.

Who's Involved?

The London Thames Gateway Development Corporation, (LTGDC), The London Development Agency (LDA) and the Greater London Authority (GLA) are committed to the implementation of their detailed regeneration strategy.

The local borough councils of Hackney, Tower Hamlets, Newham and Waltham Forest are preparing Local Development frameworks and more detailed plans. 

Canary Wharf

Canary Wharf is London’s new banking and business district and is set to grow considerably with the Gateway development.

Employment is set to grow from 82,000 to 120,000 by 2016. The construction of Crossrail should allow the number to grow to 190,000 jobs within 20 years.

13,000 homes are expected to be built on the Isle of Dogs with the majority to be completed by 2011.

Stratford City

This is one of the largest regeneration projects in the whole of the Thames Gateway development.

Already well served by public transport, Stratford is set to become the next major office development after Canary Wharf.
The next 15 years will see the creation of a new £4bn centre in East London including a new education campus.

Stratford construction is due to start in 2007 and will create 150,000 sq.m of retail space set to rival Bluewater.
It will see 37,200 sq.m of leisure facilities, 37,200 sq.m of hotel space and 93,000 sq.m of office space.

These developments will create 7,000 – 11,000 homes and 34,000 jobs. The first 1,000 homes are set to be completed by 2012.

The recently completed Stratford International will provide links to Europe via the Channel Tunnel.

Canning Town

Located just a few miles from Canary Wharf, Canning Town has excellent transport links, with the Docklands Light Railway extension to London City Airport now complete.

The London Thames Gateway Development Corporation is working closely with the London borough of Newham to create a new town centre and improved transport links. 

The development will create 1,500 homes (7,000 in the wider Canning area) and 4,500 jobs. It is estimated that by 2012 2,000 homes will be completed.


The waterways, locks and mills of Bromley-by-Bow provide a perfect setting for new homes and public areas.

Development of key sites such as former St. Andrew’s hospital site will create around 3,550 homes and at least 500 jobs.

3,000 homes are to be competed by 2012.

Three Mills on River Lea

Three Mills on River Lea. Copyright DCLG

Lea Valley Park

This new park being created throughout the Olympic Zone will see 75 hectares of inaccessible and unattractive land in Lea Valley transformed. The park will connect the Olympic site with the Thames and will provide a public space serving London and the local community.

The Masterplan is due in 2007/2008.

West Ham

With access to excellent transport infrastructure, West Ham is to become the southern gateway to the Olympic Park.

The aim is to create a location that is more than just an interchange by providing 2,750 homes and 1,000 new jobs. There are plans to develop the former Royal Mail site into a range of mixed-use developments.

Planning is underway with 500 homes expected to be delivered by 2012.

Leaside & Thameside West

Well served by the Docklands Light Railway, Leaside and Thameside West is ideal for large-scale residential and employment development.

Over the next few years new business premises and high-rise residential properties will be created. Over 9,600 homes and 3,700 jobs will be created through regeneration.

This is a ten year development with 5,300 homes to be delivered by 2012.

last updated: 15/05/2008 at 09:45
created: 09/02/2007

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