Development of the Thames Gateway should be shunned in favour of rebuilding existing towns in the South East, a leading architect said last week.
Speaking at the MIPIM property show in Cannes, MAKE principal and Ken Shuttleworth architectural designer of the London Swiss Re tower, the Gherkin, said it was more sustainable to build in city centres than on undeveloped flood plains.'We have to rebuild those places in city centres already by major infrastructure,' he said. 'You have got to build around those existing connections and try to not build in places you can only get to by car.'Shuttleworth's architectural practice is masterplanning the potential redevelopment of a site next to East Croydon station and is also working on the redevelopment of Elephant and Castle in South London. His comments came after Transport Secretary Douglas Alexander identified Croydon and Reading as key southeast stations and Network Rail secured funding for Reading's expansion (News last week.)'Sustainability is top of the agenda now and the heart of that is regenerating in towns,' said Shuttleworth.'We don't have to build on the land built on before if we don't need it. Why not put [brownfield sites] back to grass and turn them into fields and parks. Its all about consolidation, and we can get these towns to city levels rather than a spread and sprawl.'The Government denies that towns in the South are in direct competition with the Thames Gateway, while Thames Gateway supporters claim towns like Croydon and Reading would be able to offer the same levels of accommodation.