Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Minister Must 'Get a Grip' on Thames Gateway

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Minister Must 'Get a Grip' on Thames Gateway

Article excerpt

THE regeneration of the Thames Gateway is a multibillion-pound disaster waiting to happen, a report warns today. Government spending watchdogs raised the alarm that the project - the biggest redevelopment scheme in western Europe - could become an "expensive daydream" because of lack of proper planning and coordination. The National Audit Office called on Communities Secretary Ruth Kelly to get a grip on the plans for thousands of new homes between east London and the Thames estuary. Tory MP Edward Leigh, chairman of the Commons public accounts committee, which oversees the NAO, said: "At the moment, this ambitious vision is looking more and more like an expensive daydream. "Bold, large-scale schemes which are not backed up with detailed planning, proper coordination of all the different bodies involved and strong management are likely to end up wasting billions of pounds of public money. The Department for Communities and Local Government must take matters in hand now, or the Thames Gateway regeneration scheme will go the way of other ambitious but ill-planned projects. …

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