The future of the Thames as a working river has taken a major step forward with the Government giving the go ahead to the Mayor of London’s plans to protect wharves. This means the wharves recommended by the Mayor and the Port of London Authority
(PLA) for protection are now legally safeguarded for cargo-handling use.
The Mayor and the PLA submitted a detailed assessment of wharves in London and their future potential for handling cargo earlier this year. Central to this is use of the ‘safeguarding’ policy, which protects key riverside wharves from redevelopment into non-port use.
Extra wharf capacity is needed to handle predicted increases in river borne freight. In particular, wharves all along the river are needed to give industries greater flexibility and help reduce the number of trips by heavy goods vehicles on London’s roads.
These recommendations have now been accepted by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and the Government Office for London has issued formal planning directions to protect the wharves. This updates existing government safeguarding directions and means:
o 25 wharves east of the Barrier have been ‘safeguarded’ for the first time
o 25 wharves west of the Thames Barrier
are to remain ‘safeguarded’