For nearly 17 years between July 1981and March 1998 the LDDC worked to secure the regeneration of the London Docklands, an area of eight-and-a-half square miles stretching across parts of the East End Boroughs of Southwark, Tower Hamlets and Newham.
It is an urban development corporation, the second to be established by the Government under the Local Government, Planning and Land Act 1980.
Its object was to secure the regeneration of the London Docklands Urban Development Area (UDA) which would comprise of 8½ square miles of East London in the Boroughs of Tower Hamlets, Newham and Southwark.
London's Docklands were at one time the largest and most successful. The housing in the Docklands area was mostly council-owned terraced housing and flats, presenting a unique challenge for Government - how to completely replace an industry on a vast scale and make the contaminated, depressed docklands an attractive place to live and work. The housing in the Docklands area was mostly council-owned terraced housing and flats, presenting a unique challenge for Government - how to completely replace an industry on a vast scale and make the contaminated, depressed docklands an attractive place to live and work.
The LDDC has successfully tackled the widespread multiple market failure which prevailed in the London Docklands in 1981. Failures in land, housing and commercial property markets have been addressed and labour market failures have been alleviated by a combination of training projects, improvements in accessibility in and out of Docklands and the creation of new local jobs.
When all projects are completed the total public sector cost of regenerating Docklands will be of the order of £3,900 million, 48% incurred by the LDDC, 25% by London Transport and 27% by the Isle of Dogs Enterprise Zone. Almost half the public sector cost of regenerating Docklands was devoted to transport infrastructure.
Private sector investment in Docklands, at £8,700 million by March 1998, has been substantial and will continue to increase well into the next century
The LDDC has generated a wide range of economic, environmental and social benefits. Prominent amongst these are over 24,000 housing units and over 80,000 gross jobs within the Urban Development Area (UDA). Housing tenure is substantially more varied, employment is three times higher, the number of firms has increased fivefold and the new stock of housing will accommodate an additional 45,000 population.
"to secure the regeneration of its area, by bringing land and buildings into effective use, encouraging the development of existing and new industry and commerce, creating an attractive environment and ensuring that housing and social facilities are available to encourage people to live and work in the area".
The Boroughs and other local agencies were left to carry on the work. In the Royal Docks, however, the Corporation's there was a good deal of outstanding work. This was taken over by another agency of the central government, English Partnerships, working in collaboration with the London Borough of Newham to whom the LDDC's planning powers were restored. The joint team established for this purpose operated from offices on the north side of the Royal Albert Dock just opposite the Airport.