Taxpayers are losing out because of the government’s failure to redevelop the Greenwich Peninsula, the National Audit office said today.

Edward Leigh MP, chairman of the committee of public accounts, said the slow progress being made on developing the peninsula will mean returns to the taxpayer are likely to be between £45m and £60m less.

Plans for the Greenwich Peninsula, where the O2 Stadium is located, include 10,000 new homes, 3.7m sq ft of commercial space and 360,00 sq ft of shops.

It is being delivered by the government’s regeneration agency, English Partnerships, and overall responsibility for delivery lies with the Department for Communities and Local Government.

‘The O2 is reported to be the most popular music venue in the world,’ said Leigh

'It has also become an important employer of local people.

‘Far less good is that the rest of the Peninsula development has progressed so slowly.

‘The housing project is already two years behind schedule, and returns to the taxpayer from the residential and commercial part of the deal are likely to be lower than forecast, to the tune of between £45 million and £60 million.

‘English Partnerships need to use its influence with key players in this project to recover lost ground.

‘They also need to work with AEG, owners of the O2, to ensure the taxpayer gets a fair share in that success.’

In 2002 a deal was signed between English Partnerships and a consortium led by Meridian Delta to redevelop the 170-acre Greenwich Peninsula over 20 years. The projected financial return for English Partnerships was £216.4m.

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