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Urban Design Compendium

Case Study 113 - Creating a spatial strategy for a sub-region

113 - A Guide to the Future Thames Gateway

New things happen: a guide to the future Thames Gateway is unique in its attempt to identify the character of the largest growth area in the South East. Through a year-long research study, characteristics of places throughout the Gateway were examined in detail. Its findings will inform planning policies, design decisions, and investment strategies for the area.

Commissioned by Communities and Local Government (CLG) to inform the Thames Gateway Interim Plan: Policy Framework (Nov 2006), and led by CABE, the study mapped the landscape and urban character of the area. In addition, it was informed by consultation with professionals engaged in changing the subregion, workshops in Kent, Essex and London, and interviews with people interested in the Gateway’s future. These ideas are now being implemented by CABE through a range of projects ensuring that CLG’s commitments to raising design quality as set out in the Interim Plan are delivered.

CLG’s three commitments are:

  • Thames Gateway Design Pact – the Pact will be a formal commitment that sets out exactly what actions will be taken by government, local delivery vehicles, local authorities and others engaged in delivery to ensure that all new development is of high quality and enhances the character of the area.
  • Housing Audits – to check on progress and provide an independent view of quality, CABE will do repeat housing audits using the Building for Life criteria. The aspiration is that in 2010, no scheme will be assessed as ‘poor’ and at least 50% of schemes should be ‘good’ or ‘very good’. By 2015, 100% should be rated ‘good’ or ‘very good’.
  • Thames Gateway Parklands – the findings will also feed into the Parklands Strategy, a key spatial framework for delivering the vision for Thames Gateway.

Other Information

  • Location: Thames Gateway
  • Project Team: CABE, LDA Design, Alan Baxter Associates, Communities and Local Government
  • Contact:


UDC2 Section - Sowing the Seedg the Seed  

People’s relationship with the river was a key aspect in assessing the roots of character in the Thames Gateway. 

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