Newham docklands planning powers handed back to Town Hall

Planning powers over part of Newham’s Docklands will be handed back to council chiefs from next month.

They will take over responsibility for the London Riverside area from the Thames Gateway Development Corporation on April 1.

The corporation will continue to act as the planning authority for the Lower Lea Valley area for the time being.

Mayor Boris Johnson is currently consulting on plans to bring parts of that zone under the remit of a new Olympic legacy Development Corporation.

Ministers say the switch back to local authority control in the Riverside area - which includes Beckton and parts of the Royal Docks - is an important step in handing back power to local residents.

Local government minister Bob Neill said: “Putting local boroughs back in control of planning in the London Riverside area puts decision-making power back into democratically elected hands – marking a new era in the area and giving local people more influence to shape the place in which they live.

“This is part of our wider decentralisation of strategic oversight in the Thames Gateway.

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“Planning powers are a perfect example of this. It is obvious that local politicians – accountable to local people – should be responsible for making local planning decisions.

“The order being laid before Parliament is an important step in achieving this aim. I look forward to being able to announce further progress on localisation elsewhere in the Thames Gateway very soon.”

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