Environmental campaigners have vowed to fight the government ‘all the way’ after it was announced that plans have been approved to begin construction of Thamestown – a new town of 25,000 homes, businesses, leisure facilities and a dedicated railway station on reclaimed land in the middle of the Thames estuary. The new ’21st Century town’ will lie around one mile off the coast of Southend, with a single bridge for road and rail connected to Thorpe Bay, and residents in surrounding areas have been assured that the wreck of the SS Montgomery and the area’s shipping lanes will not be affected. The so-called A1270 will link Thamestown to the existing A127.
Bertram Plain is head of the Thamestown Development Committee, and he gave a passionate interview to Southend News Network about the project. He said: ‘25,000 new homes, a railway station, a large leisure resort and incredible employment opportunities are just the beginning. The great thing about reclaiming an area of the sea and creating an island is that we can expand the key living and business areas when more and more people want to live and work here. We are going to model the entire layout on Milton Keynes with a large and expandable grid of blocks and streets, and we can also personally guarantee that 30% of all homes will be classed as affordable housing with new-build two-bed homes starting at £260,000.’
Mr Plain added: ‘The main objection that we have received so far is that people are concerned about Thamestown flooding in times of heavy rain and tidal surges from the North Sea, and this is why the reclaimed land will also float. Therefore, when the sea level rises, Thamestown will rise as well, and the main rail and road bridge is designed to be flexible enough to shift up and down and create a slight gradient. We basically looked at how Canvey Island was designed and then tweaked it, and if Thamestown is successful our group of contractors would be more than happy to convert Canvey into a floating island as well – this is a huge gesture as it has now become clear that there will be no third Canvey link road as scientists are worried about the island tipping over.
In a late development, it has now emerged that Thamestown could scupper the proposed ‘Boris Island’ airport plans – these are the proposals to build a floating airport in the middle of the Thames Estuary. We emailed Mr Plain about this news, and he was adamant that the two developments could happily exist side by side. He replied: ‘If the proposed mid-Thames airport does get the go ahead with the proposed high-speed rail link to London, this will inevitably also be linked to Thamestown, sending property prices through the roof. Therefore, I would strongly urge people to purchase one of the 25,000 ‘off plan’ homes right away before prices shoot up for this transport hub-rich paradise – we offer low deposits, part-exchange and shared ownership options too.’