LONDON mayor Ken Livingstone has given the green light to the £3.5 billion Stratford City scheme, one of the largest planned development projects in the capital.
The east London scheme will include up to 5,000 new homes, many of these affordable, and create a huge new office and retail centre in the Thames Gateway.
The development will also provide hotel, conference, health, educational and community facilities to create a new urban community in east London.
The development is expected to create up to 34,000 new jobs, mostly in the financial and business sectors. Construction work is expected to provide an additional 4,000 jobs over the 15 to 20-year development period.
Stratford City will be built on derelict rail land around Stratford station. It is will be built next to the main London Olympic Games site and will play a significant role in a London Games in 2012, providing much of the athletes'accommodation.
The vast project has received £300 million of funding from the Stratford City Development Partnership - comprising developers Chelsfield and Stanhope plus London & Continental Railways, operator of the Eurostar train service - for essential infrastructure, community work and a new school.