Message - Let's hear it for that Great British architectural disaster: THE MILLENNIUM DOME!

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Posted by  Martin Douglas Packer on December 18, 2002 at 11:17:29:

Dome site to host 10,000 new homes

The £4 billion development of the Millennium Dome will include 10,000 new homes under a planning application submitted today.

If all goes well, the £135 million work of transforming the central part of the Dome into an entertainment and sports arena could start in mid-2003.

The two-year project to transform the Dome itself, which endured a troubled beginning in 2000, is just part of a 20-year planned regeneration of the Greenwich peninsula.

Today's planning application to Greenwich council included 10,000 new homes, shops, a school and offices as well as a 22,000-seat arena inside the Dome. The development could bring 24,000 long-term jobs to the area, developers said.

The application has been submitted by English Partnerships, the Government regeneration agency which owns the Dome land, property consortium Meridian Delta Ltd (MDL) and sports and entertainment company Anschutz Entertainment Group Europe (AEG).

"The Dome Arena will provide London with one of the finest entertainment and sports venues in the world and create hundreds of new jobs for the area," said Detlef Kornett, AEG Europe managing director.

He went on: "Having hosted everything from Madonna to the Rolling Stones and the Academy Awards at our other venues around the world, AEG is well placed to deliver an exceptional arena which will create a new entertainment destination for London."

Today's planning application follows the May 2002 announcement on the Dome's future, in which the Government said that English Partnerships (EP) would benefit - possibly by as much as £550 million - from the success of the Greenwich Peninsula development.

Lord Falconer, the then Dome minister, said in May that this was "an excellent deal which secures a viable long-term future for the Dome and the rest of the Greenwich Peninsula".

He said it was a much better deal than demolishing the Dome or selling the land outright.

Today's planning application covered 190 acres, including the Dome itself, whose organisers, the New Millennium Experience Company, had to repeatedly ask for more National Lottery money during 2000 when attendances failed to reach the over-ambitious target of 12 million.

The plan is that the offices, studios and workshops to be built on the peninsula would appeal to the creative and media sectors.

Buildings would be no higher than 19 storeys and the development was not seen a a rival to the City offices at Canary Wharf in London's Docklands.

Similarly, shops would be for local people rather than designed to attract "long-distance" shoppers in the way that Brent Cross in north west London and Bluewater in Kent do, the developers said.

A "major new hotel" was planned and there would also be a new school that would offer evening classes for all age groups.

The 10,000 new homes would be located around four neighbourhoods - each with its own different characteristics. Some areas would be family oriented, others more suitable for young people, the developers said. They said today that many of the new homes would be "affordable".

The plan also envisaged improved bus services. But MDL said today that delivering around two thirds of the 340,000 square metres of commercial place planned would be dependent on improved rail links.

MDL is made up of Lend Lease, a global property company, and Quintain Estates and Development, a UK property group.

David Hutton of Lend Lease, said today: "The opportunity to create a new urban community in central London is very rare and brings with it a great responsibility. This will be a comprehensive sustainable regeneration…with high quality public spaces and parkland, based around a Tube and bus station with many car-free streets.

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