The current London Plan identiﬁes 38 Opportunity Areas and 7 Intensiﬁcation Areas, between them covering almost 19,000 ha of land around London.
Opportunity Areas are deﬁned as areas that can accommodate at least 5,000 jobs or 2,500 new homes or a combination of the two, along with other supporting facilities and infrastructure.
Intensiﬁcation Areas are already built up and will be able to deliver less additional homes and jobs than
Opportunity Areas, but still have signiﬁcant capacity for growth and densiﬁcation.
Nine of the London Opportunity Areas are located along the riverside within the Diocese of Southwark, with Elephant and Castle close by. The map identiﬁes the location, land area and development potential of these areas. They vary widely in provision and emphasis.
• Thamesmead and Abbey Wood has by far the largest brownﬁeld land identiﬁed for redevelopment at 811 hectares, with Greenwich Peninsular second at 259 ha and Nine Elms Vauxhall third at 227 ha.
• Nine Elms Vauxhall has the greatest capacity for increased residential development at 20,000 homes.
• London Bridge, Borough and Bankside and Nine Elms Vauxhall both have the highest estimated capacity for new jobs at 25,000 each.
In all, the riverside regeneration taking place within the Diocese of Southwark will provide an estimated 93,000 jobs and 60,000 homes.
As well as providing new housing and jobs the redevelopment of these Opportunity Areas offers the possibility of creating an integrated transportation network along the river and improved cultural connections along the south bank. Within this overall aim of improving connections along the river the development of each Opportunity Area will respond to the needs and context of its particular location.
These are set out in the Vision and Objectives published for each area. For example:
• Greenwich Peninsular will “focus development and regeneration around a new multi-purpose sports / entertainment / education facility that links with, and complements the offer at the O2 Arena” and “provide employment and education opportunities of excellence.”
• Waterloo will “support the world class cultural quarter at the Riverside and use it as a motor for regeneration… to enhance the South Bank and extend the cultural and entertainment offer”
• Woolwich will “respond rapidly to seize the opportunities that are likely to arise from the completion of Crossrail in 2018 …to grow into a metropolitan centre”
• Nine Elms Vauxhall will deliver the regeneration of the iconic Battersea Power Station as a new District Centre, regenerate Vauxhall through the “tall buildings strategy which supports an emerging cluster at Vauxhall”, and create “a new linear park connecting Vauxhall to Battersea Power Station”.
The timing of projects along the riverside is also different, with some projects still at planning stage and others on the way to delivery. However uncertain is the ﬁnal timetable there is no doubt that over the next ten years the challenge to everyone leading, living and working along the south bank of the Thames will be to create strong, healthy communities in a rapidly changing physical environment.