The London that could have been

Articles, New Projects, The NewsEditor

Absolutely fascinating article from The Guardian about the lost plans of London - what could have been. Some are outlandish. Some look modern even now. And one in particular feels eerily familiar:


By the beginning of the 1970s, there were seriously ambitious plans to upgrade south-east England’s airport capacity and take some of the pressure off Heathrow, which even then was straining. One proposal was to build Maplin airport, at Foulness, on an artificial island eight miles long. The development would include a deep-water container port and a whole new town to serve it.

Trial land reclamations began but the project, like so many others, was scuppered by the oil crisis of 1973. It marks the last hurrah of what you might call the “planned” era, after which Britain began to give up on large-scale infrastructure. Today’s fevered talk of airport expansions, Boris Island and an estuary airport underline its failure.

Well worth a read.