Thames river masterplan to create major opportunities 

PLA Masterplanning 26 January 2023

The Port of London Authority (PLA) has begun a major master planning exercise to realise the growth opportunities along the Thames known as the Thames Vision 2050. 

These plans will help integrate the Thames river into the economy and lives of communities.

Thames Vision 2050 is the river development framework launched late last summer at London’s City Hall.  

The tidal river is already home to the UK’s largest port and busiest inland waterway. 

This commencement comes a week after Portchain announced that the Port of London Container Terminal has signed a SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) agreement with Portchain Quay, as a way to unlock the potential in the London Container Terminal’s quayside operations

The vision sets out future priorities for the river around three themes; Trading Thames, Destination Thames, and Natural Thames.

Drawing on the PLA’s mix of marine and planning expertise, the master planning process will capture all potential strategic opportunities on the river and provide clarity in decision-making processes and as a tool for investment decisions.  

It will be developed with, and is expected to become a key tool for, partners and local authorities along the Thames.

“Through the master planning process we will build in the local detail, drawing out the opportunities for trade, travel, sport, and nature along the Thames and its riparian hinterland,” explained Director of Planning and Development at the PLA, James Trimmer.  

“The masterplan will pick out the existing operations and potential options for development around trading and destination activities, and further improvements to the natural environment for each borough, including options for the delivery of biodiversity net gain.  

“Once complete, it will equip us with a clear spatial articulation of the ambition set out in the Vision, informing future planning and investment decisions,” Trimmer continued.

The 95 miles of the tidal Thames covers 22 boroughs and councils.  

In the initial phase of development, the PLA expects to work with the London boroughs of Bexley and Newham, and councils in the Thames Gateway.  

Masterplan development will be advanced at local level over the next 18 months; a river wide consultation will take place once the overall masterplan has been developed. 

READ: Thames Freeport to begin operations in November

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